Journey Idea » Cities of Creative Design Travel across the world with Journey Idea Mon, 15 Apr 2013 07:00:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Saint Etienne Creative Pleasures Tue, 25 Dec 2012 07:05:30 +0000 Ricky Saint Etienne is a city located in the central eastern part of France and is around 60 km to the southwest of Lyon. Situated in the Rhone Alpes region, this is the capital of the Loire Department. Located in the Massif Central this is a beautiful city and is filled with the best of creative effects.

Saint Etienne is on the banks of the River Furens at the base of the Pilat Massif. This is around 59 km to the southwest of Lyon and around 53 km from Vienne. There is a legend that states that in the times of the Roman era, there was a settlement called Furanum which comes from the River Furan. Then the place was given a new name and it was then called Furania which is a name that remained till the Middle Ages.

Saint Etienne Creative Pleasures

Existing since the year 1258, the town was then called Sancti STephani de Furano after the saint here. It is called Saint Etienne in French. Then the tow was very well known for the arms industry and was called Armeville or Commune d’Armes which means Arms Town during the time of the French Revolution.

One can reach Saint Etienne by air with the airport located at L’Aeroport International de Saint Etienne. You also have the L’Aeroport International de Lyon. By train the place is approachable by the Chateaucreux, la Terasse, Carnot, Bellevue stations. Saint Etienne is also connected by the TGV to Paris city in two hours. The place can also be accessed by road, tram, bus and trolley.

L'Aeroport de Lyon

STAS is a network here that operates a public transport network in and around Saint Etienne. Also called Societe de Transports de L’Agglomeration Stephanoise it operates the public network of transport in the city. It takes people around the fifteen communes of the Saint Etienne group.

The STATS also operates a bike sharing system called Velivert Smartcard.

Come to this creative city and get to see the best of museums and other collective art here. See the museums and galleries here and enjoy the sights of this city of creative design. See the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum Art & industry . Also see the Museum the Mine, and also the Museum of old Saint Etienne. Then you have the Les Ateliers et le Conservatoire des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. See the Museum Urban Transport by St. Etienne and country. Then there is the Museum Urban Transport which is run by St. Etienne and country. You also have the Planetarium of St. Etienne and also the Memorial de la Resistance et la Deportation.

Saint Etienne Museums

Saint Etienne is a city that is filled with charming locales and a history of entrepreneurship and also industry. The industries here have helped make this city what it is today. St. Etienne is also the place where the sewing machine took birth in the year 1830. This is also the place where the first French railway began and this commenced in the year 1827.  In Old Saint Etienne the Museum of Coal Mining and the Museum of Old Saint Etienne are very much an attraction here in this part of the world. The visitor can delve into the past of this creative city.

Tourists like to walk up to the Guizay Hill which gives the best views of the entire city and also is popular for recreational activities. St. Etienne has many cafes and boutiques and the many open markets that form the main tourists attractions here. These open markets are found in Place de People which has been the business and social centre in St. Etienne since the 15thcenttury. The weekly market is a major feature in the Sunday market.

St. Etienne

Then see the many other places like Astronaut which si the state of the art planetarium in St. Etienne. There is a unique space simulator here. The way to explore the city is by going on foot with the free guided tours that are available here. The best time to visit St. Etienne is in the month of October when the city has the Rhino Jazz festival.

Saint Etienne is also famous for the football team and is today famous for having got the coveted City of Art and Design Award.

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Travel Pleasures in Graz Tue, 27 Nov 2012 07:05:34 +0000 Ricky Graz has something to offer for all tourists who come to this part of the world. Visit this beautiful land filled with maximum pleasures and get to see something wonderful and fascinating. Get to see Schlossberg and see the Uhrturm clock tower and experience the beautiful sights from atop this majestic tower. As you see the old historic town you would surely be filled with an unbelievable delight that shines of the history that existed here before. Visit the major landmarks here and enjoy the Murinsel which is an artificial glass island in the River Mur and see the past grandeur in full glow here.

Graz is the second largest city in Austria and is filled with the pleasures of a travel luxury that is unbeatable. With mountains in the background and the beauty of the trendy ski resorts dominating the tour sights here, this region is one that should not be given a miss as it is a greatly creative destination. With the pastoral province of Styria filled with a lot of tradition and culture, the ravishing enigma of this place is unmistakably overwhelming. Get into the Renaissance and the medieval quarters here and enjoy the past beauty of this beautiful land.


While you are in Schlossberg walk up the staircase here this is filled with rocks and has the best sights of a major clock tower. The steps here go up to a well maintained garden and you should be really physically well fit to be able to climb up the stairs. As you gaze on the rooftops here the network of alleys and the spires of the churches in the distance over the misty mountains is enthralling.

Graz is a well proportioned city and has a mix of the old and the new. This is certainly a great foreign destination to be in and the entire city is filled with the best of creative designs. With the unique arms in the world there is the river Mur providing you with a fantastic experience. As you take a stroll along the river, prepare to be totally taken in by the art gallery of Kunsthaus here .


Graz located in the southeastern part of Austria is a city that is settled between rolling hills in the east, north, west and the south. It is open only on the southern side and the initial settlements dates back to 800 AD and the landowners here captured the city and made it a greatly successful trading centre.

As it is easily fortified and very vulnerable, Scholssberg is in the centre of the city and has been a very major location. The entire rule of the Habsburgs and the Babenbergers saw Graz to be the second capital of Austria. The architecture here is entirely dominated by the struggle seen by the Habsburgs Counter Reformation. There are many buildings like the Landhuas and many such constructions which today make the city a place of creative design. There is the Mausoleum and the old University all of which makes Graz a perfect destination to be in and an ideal location to visit.


Graz is a very major example of Baroque architecture and has seen the likes of beautiful constructions and immensely popular landmarks like the Uhrturm tower.

The original mechanism of the tower from the year 1712 is the same and the place is also very popular as the place of the locals’ first kiss. The design of the fortress here had a major impact on the way the city was laid out and even today has the largest collection of suits of armour and modern weapons. All this and more is found in the continent of Europe. Graz grew into a major city and there are still lot of buildings that show the development in good light . You have the opera house, the City Hall , the Karl Franzens University and many such constructions which are extremely enchanting and give the city a creative design status.

Franzens University

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Creative designed city in Kobe Pleasures Thu, 24 May 2012 07:54:39 +0000 Ricky Amongst the many cities with creative designs Kobe stands as a true example of great architectural elegance and lovely sights. Named as the UNESCO city of Design in the year 2008, Kobe is a unique and very well crafted city in this land of Japan. In the year 1860 when Japan opened its gates to the world, Kobe was one of the many ports it operated and since then has become a great gateway to the country of Japan. The people living in Kobe have contributed a lot to the creativity in this city. This was seen during the time there was an earthquake in the year 1995 and it destroyed the entire country destroying many parts of Kobe the city with the most creative design. During this time the citizens contributed in recreating the entire city back to shape.

Kobe has a unique and special lifestyle that has totally amalgamated into the daily life of the people and has thus brought about a culture that is very diverse and considers all the aspects of the design that has managed to influence the social development in the entire city.

Kobe located in the central southern portion of the country of Japan is in fact the sixth largest city and has a population which totally supports its creative effect. The landscape of Kobe is very unique and has many oceans and mountains giving it the effect of a city of creativity. This is the reason people have been visiting this lovely creative land and has been the mainstay of the culture of the people living into his part of the world. Kobe today happens to be one of the leading centers for Japan’s fashion and its industries for apparel.

Today Kobe is a major port to the country of Japan and the nation thus has had the opportunity to open itself completely to the world. Kobe today has some of the best ordered blocks where the city of western designs emerged and where the lovely cityscapes emerged as being aligned into the historical architecture of the past museums and the offices and boutiques with the most elegant styles. Today these are the remains of the port that existed here and it is thus very popular as the city of creative design.

The rural terrain in Kobe has great panoramic beauty and the suburbs with their thatched houses and lovely lush green surroundings lend a total beauty to the entire creativity that is dormant here. The beautiful rural ambience here is a great boon to all the activities that have taken place here. Nature is at its best here and the entire land is filled with a kind of magnificence that makes it come out as a great city of creativity.

Kobe also has the best fashion designed occasions than ever before and is actually the hub of the Kobe Collection which is he greatest fashion show in this country and has attracted more than 10,000 visitors in all.

Kobe Design Festa is another event that helps citizens here comprehend that designing is a way of life in Kobe and people love to enjoy the design related events that form a mainstay of life in Kobe. Kobe is also the main centre for disseminating the major daily activities in the city.

Kobe Design Festa
Then Kobe also has the training programmes for the famous Kobe designers and this gives them an insight into the culture and tradition of Kobe and thus aims at creating a new creative Kobe.

Kobe also has its own design university which gives a great variety of Graphics, fashion and many kinds of architecture. There is a fashion museum here that works with the idea of the first fashion designs in this part of the world.

Then there is the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art which gives Kobe its personal architetectural facility.

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

All this and more makes Kobe a perfect city of creative design.

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Welcome to Live Music Capital of the World – Austin Thu, 29 Dec 2011 12:07:22 +0000 Ricky Austin is the capital of the state of Texas and a beautiful city with hills, lakes and valleys running through the city. It is situated on the eastern edge of American southwest in Central Texas and is the 4th biggest metropolitan apart from being the 14th most crowded city in United States. Originally, it was the 3rd fastest growing big city in the country from 2000 to 2006. At present, it has inhabitants of 799,447 and is an economic, cultural center of Austin Round Rock San Marcos metropolitan region with inhabitants of 1,896,291, making it one of the 32nd biggest cities in United States. Austin was settled in 1830s on Colorado River banks by pioneers who named it village Waterloo. In the year 1839, it was selected for becoming the newly independent Republic of Texas’ capital. The metropolitan region was renamed after the father of Texas, Stephen Austin.

AustinAustin grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for education and government with construction of University of Texas and Texas State Capitol. After stillness in growth from the Great Depression, it resumed its development into one of the most significant cities in 1980s and emerged as a leading center for business and technology. It has now become a home to plenty of firms such as Fortune 500 corporations Freescale Semiconductor, Whole Foods Market and Forestar Group are situated there. Texas Instruments, AMD, Synopsys, Apple, ShoreTel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Google, Intel and IBM have prominent regional offices there. The worldwide headquarters of Dell are also situated in close by suburb of Austin, Round Rock.

The inhabitants of Austin are called Austinites and include diverse mix of government employees such as university staff and faculty, law enforcement, domestic and foreign college students, political staffers, musicians, businesspeople, high tech workers and blue-collar workers. It is a home to development centers for numerous technology firms. Williamson County, Travis County and Austin have been human habitation site since 9200 B.C. When settlers originally arrived from Europe, the region was inhabited by Tonkawa tribe and Lipan and Comanches Apaches were known for travelling through the region as well. Spanish explorers, including Espinosa Olivares Aguirre expedition, travelled through the region for decades, although few permanent settlements were created for some time.

Austin attractions

In the year 1840, series of conflicts between Comanches and Texas Rangers called Battle of Plum Creek and Council house Fight, at last pushed Comanches towards the west, mainly ending conflicts in Central Texas. Beginning in 1920s and 30s, Austin introduced series of beautification and civic development projects, which created much of its recreational areas and infrastructure. Additionally, the state legislature founded Lower Colorado River Authority, which along with Austin City created dam system for forming Highland Lakes. The 1970s saw the emergence of Austin in national music scene with local artists, including Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Asleep at the Wheel along with music venues like Armadillo World Headquarters.

Austin is situated in Central Texas along Interstate 35 and Balcones Escarpment, Houston’s northwest. It is situated on Colorado River with 3 manmade lakes within metropolitan limits: Lady Bird Lake, originally called Town Lake, Lake Walter E. Long, party used for cooling water for Decker Power Plant and Lake Austin, both created by dams along Colorado River. In addition to the Lake Travis’ foot, including Mansfield Dam is situated within the limits of city. Lake Travis, Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin are each on Colorado River. The Austin soils range from gravely, shallow clay loams over limestone in western outskirts to fine sandy, deep loams, silty clays, fine sandy loams or clays in the eastern part of the city. Austin has humid subtropical climate, categorized by extremely hot summers with prevailing humid winds from mild winters and Gulf of Mexico.

Mansfield Dam

Austin is governed by city council that consists of 7 members and composed of six council members. Mayoral and council elections are non-partisan with run-off in case there is no majority winter. Austin originally operated its city hall at 128 West 8th Street. Law enforcement is offered by Austin Police Department except for state government apartments that are patrolled by Texas Department of Public Safety. It ranked as 5th safety city in part as there were very less than five murders per 100,000 people in a year. Austin Fire Department provides the fire protection, while emergency medical services are offered by Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

List of mayors of Austin, Texas include Edwin Waller, Thomas William Ward, Moses Johnson, Asa Brigham, J. W. Robertson, James M. Long, Jacob M. Harrell, S. G. Haynie, George J. Durham, Thomas William Ward, W. P. DeNormandie, John S. Ford, J. T. Cleveland, E. R. Peck, Thomas E. Sneed, B. F. Carter, James W. Smith, S. G. Haynie, Thomas William Ward, William Carr, Leander Brown, John Glenn, Thomas Benton Wheeler, Jacob Carl DeGress, L. M. Crocker, W. A. Saylor, J. W. Robertson, Joseph Nalle, John McDonald, Louis Hancock, John Dodd McCall, R. E. White, W. D. Shelley, F. M. Maddox, Alexander Penn Wooldridge, W. D. Yett, P. W. McFadden, Tom Miller, Taylor Glass, W. S. Drake, Charles A. McAden, Lester Palmer and more.

Austin Texas attractions

The Texas Department of Transportation operates Austin District Office, while Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates Austin I and II district parole offices and United States Postal Service operates several post offices in Austin. Austin is the biggest component of Austin Round Rock MSA that had Gross Domestic Product of $86 billion in the year 2010. It is regarded as one of the most significant centers for high tech and numerous graduates annually from computer science and engineering programs at The University of Texas at Austin offer steady source of employees, which help to fuel defense industry and technology sectors of Austin. As a result of high concentration of high-tech firms in the area, it was strongly affected by dot-com boom in late 1990s and subsequent bust.

Its largest employers include City of Austin, Austin Independent School District, U.S. Federal Government, Dell, IBM, St. David’s Healthcare Partnership, Freescale Semiconductor, State of Texas, Seton Family of Hospitals, The University of Texas and Texas State University–San Marcos. Other high-tech firms with operations in Austin are 3M, Nvidia, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Inc., AMD, Google, Cirrus Logic, Applied Materials, eBay/PayPal, Cisco Systems, Blizzard Entertainment, Bioware, Intel Corporation, Hoover’s, Samsung Group, National Instruments, Silicon Laboratories, Buffalo Technology, Hostgator, United Devices and Oracle Corporation.

Austin is also an emerging hub for biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms and was ranked as No. 12 life science and biotech center in United States by Miken Institute. Additionally, the international and national companies, it has strong network of locally owned, independent and unique organizations and firms. The official slogan of Austin is The Live Music Capital of the World and has vibrant live music scene with plenty of music venues per capita as compared to the city of United States. The music of Austin revolves around plenty of nightclubs on 6th Street and annual music/film/interactive festival called South by Southwest. Austin City Limits, a longest running concert music program on American television, is recorded at Moody Theatre at W Hotel in Austin, Texas. C3 Presents and Austin City Limits produce annual music and art festival and Austin City Limits Music Festival held at Zilker Park in Austin situated on Austin City Limits television show.

Things to do in Austin Texas

Austin hosts the annual Austin Film Festival that draws films of various kinds across the world. It has been a home for plethora of motion pictures because of the influence of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television Film. Movies directed in Austin are Secondhand Lions, Man of the House, Spy Kids, Waking Life, Office Space, Dazed and Confused, Miss Congeniality, The Life of David Gale, Slacker, Doubting Thomas, The New Guy, Idiocracy, The Alamo, Hope Floats, The Wendall Baker Story, Blank Check, A Slipping-Down Life, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly, and most recently, Grindhouse, Machete, the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Bandslam and How To Eat Fried Worms.

The main daily newspaper of Austin is Austin American Statesman, while The Austin Chronicle is alternative weekly of Austin. The Daily Texan is student newspaper of University of Texas. The business newspaper of Austin is weekly Austin Business Journal. There are plenty of other newspapers such as Westlake Picayune, Oak Hill Gazette, Round Rock Leader, Hill Country News, The Villager and NOKOA among others. It has strong theater culture with plethora of resident and itinerant firms producing different kinds of work. Austin has live performance theater venues like Vortex Repertory Company, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Rude Mechanicals’ the Off Center, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Scottish Rite Children’s Theater, Austin Playhouse, Blue Theater, Hyde Park Theatre, Esther’s Follies and Hideout Theater.

Austin has up-and-coming capitalist scene that supports multiple paths like bootstrap, funding-driven and craft. It comes together in the month of March every year at RISE Austin, the annual week long conference around Austin. The Armadillo World Headquarters presented national country acts and musical rock along with regional bands such as Roky Erikson and Willie Nelson in 1970s helping to build reputation of the city as music capitol. The present scene has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine BusinessWeek, Time, GigaOm, Kiplinger, CNN and ABJ Entrepreneur. Austin is one of the largest metropolitan areas in US without club in most significant professional sports league. Natural features including bicycle-friendly Texas Hill County, mild climate and limestone rock formations work with Bike Trail and Lady Bird Lake that are centrally located. Local pools such as Barton Springs make it a home to various multi sport and endurance communities and races. Combining three disciplines is rising crop of triathlons like Capital of Texas Triathlon held every Memorial Day around and on Lady Bird Lake, Downtown Austin and Auditorium Shores.

The Museums in Austin are Blanton Museum of Art, Texas Memorial Museum, Austin Museum of Art, galleries at Harry Ransom Center and Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Central Austin is fundamentally bracketed by two main South/North thoroughfares: Mopac Expressway to west and Interstate 35 to east. The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is Austin’s airport situated 8 kilometers southeast of Austin. It is a home to flagship institution of The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Austin with more than 12,000 graduate and 38,000 undergraduate students. Other institutions include Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University, Huston-Tillotson University, Concordia University, Acton School of Business, Seminary of the Southwest, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin Graduate School of Theology, Art Institute of Austin, Virginia College’s Austin Campus, branch of Park University and Austin Conservatory.

Blanton Museum of Art

Alternative education and Private institutions in Austin for children in 12th­ preschool-grade are Redeemer Lutheran School, Regents School of Austin, Austin Jewish Academy, Austin Discovery School, The Griffin School, Waldorf schools, Concordia Academy, The Khabele School, Holy Family Catholic School, St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic School, Brentwood Christian School, San Juan Diego Catholic High School, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, St. Austin Catholic School, St. Theresa’s, St. Mary’s, Saint Gabriel’s Catholic School, St. Michael’s Catholic Academy, St. Francis Episcopal School, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Trinity Episcopal School, Saint Paul Lutheran School, Cleaview Sudbury School, Huntington-Surrey, ACE Academy, The Inside Outside School, Austin International School, Paragon Preparatory Middle School, plenty of Montessori schools and The Progress School.

List of sister cities of Austin, Texas selected by Sister Cities International include Adelaide, Australia; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Koblenz, Germany; Lima, Peru; Maseru, Lesotho; Oita, Japan; Saltillo, Mexico; Taichung, Taiwan; Orlu, Nigeria; Gwangmyeong, South Korea; Xishuangbanna, People’s Republic of China; Antalya, Turkey; Fethiye, Turkey and Caracas, Venezuela.

List of Austinites include Wes Anderson, a film director; Clifford Antone; music impresario; Lance Armstrong; a cyclist; Michael E. Arth, artist, author, documentary filmmaker, urban designer and futurist; Stone Cold Steve Austin, a professional wrestler; Marcia Ball, a musician; Eugene C. Barker, a historian; Lou Ann Barton, a musician; Rich Beem, a golfer; Leila Bela, a musician; Ray Benson, a musician; Angela Bettis, an actress; Louis Black, a journalist; Bill Blythe; Maya Bond, a singer-songwriter; Silona Bonewald, a political activist; Terry Bozzio, a musician; Drew Brees, a NFL quarterback; Berkeley Breathed, a cartoonist; Mehcad Brooks, an actor; J. E. “Buster” Brown, a lobbyist and former state senator; Mack Brown, a UT Football Coach; Sandra Bullock, an actress; Burnie Burns, a director and writer; Mark Calaway, a professional wrestler; Kent Caperton, a lawyer, lobbyist and former state senator; Liz Carpenter, a Lady Bird Johnson’s press secretary, author and humorist; Michael Ray Charles, an artist; Ciara, a singer; J.M. Coetzee, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist; Shawn Colvin, a musician; Leslie Cochran, an Austin icon; Ben Crenshaw, a golfer; Jarrett Crippen, a aka; Ian Crocker, an Olympic swimmer; Walter Cronkite, a journalist and TV anchor; Alfred Crosby, a historian and author; John Paul DeJoria, a cofounder of Paul Mitchell; Michael Dell, a businessman; Bradley Denton, an author; J. Frank Dobie, an author; Floyd Domino, a musician; Federico Archuleta, an artist; Joe Ely, a musician; Roky Erickson, a musician and Alejandro Escovedo.

So, go ahead. Have a look around and check out all the places to get a bite, catch a show, do some shopping and find out what really makes Austin weird and more in this large city meets laid-back college town.

Austin Texas

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Gateway Arch ST.Louis Missouri – The Tallest Stainless Steel Monument Fri, 20 May 2011 11:56:29 +0000 Ricky Whenever we go to any place, it is the surroundings and the ambience that we bring back with us. Often all that we remember is some big structure and something spectacularly singular that we treasure. The Gateway Arch at St.Louis Misssouri is one such monument that surely blows out our mind. At 192m it is today the tallest monument made by man in the United States of America. Designed on a flattened centenary arch the Gateway Arch is located on the banks of the River Missisipi. Eero Saarinen a Finnish American designer designed this along with Hannskarl Bandel a structural engineer in the year 1947. The Arch took around two years to construct from 1963 to 1965. It cost around US$13million at that time to construct.

Purely the idea of Luther Ely smith, the civic leader, the idea was to create a memorial for the public to respect the men who helped in the expansion of the U.S. This memorial had the scope of providing jobs to the jobless during the Depression then. After a lot of discussions and decision, the plan finally went underway. The Mississippi River had an important role to play in the history of St.Louis. So the Arch had to be built near the river. Since there was a railway track there, plans to hide the track under a tunnel came forth. Finally the decision went forward and today there is a long tunnel on the railroad and a staircase connects the levee to the Arch. Many buildings were broken and only the Old Rock House and the Old Cathedral were retained.

The Gateway Arch today is a great piece of architecture with the interiors made of carbon steel, and stainless steel covering the outer side. The filling is concrete and the top is tapering like a triangle. This memorial today surpasses the entire spiritual as well as the aesthetic values and symbolizes the culture of America and its civilization. Today at 192m and with the same width it is the tallest memorial in the U.S. and the tallest monument made of stainless steel in the whole world. The legs of the arch narrow from a measurement of 54ft at the base to 17 feet at the top. The arch is hollow within and accommodates a tram system that can help visitors reach a deck for observing from the top. There were times such as in 1970 when the arch just shrunk 7.6cm.

The structure of the arch is such that such contraction and expansion wouldn’t spoil its construction. The arch is protected against earthquakes and can sway up to 23cm during winds up to 150miles per hour. The arch has lights which are switched on from 10 pomp to 1 a.m by a system of floodlights.

Thus this arch which soars towards a better tomorrow with the richness of the heritage of today symbolizes that the country should also remain thus. Today visitors come here to the 70,000 square feet visitors centre located directly under the arch. Ramps connect the centre to the arch. It has offices, waiting areas, mechanical rooms, waiting places for the trams, the Museum of Westward Expansion. Visitors come here and enjoy the films about the arch that is displayed in the two theatres the oldest of which started in 1972. The Odyssey Theatre is the newer one which was built in the year 1990.

The observation deck on the top is a place where the passengers from the tram come out and see the view from the top. With 32 windows each around 7 by 27 inches give a wonderful view of the River Missisipi and Illinois and St.Louis city. One can come here by the emergency stairs (1076) or by the elevator up to 91 m high or the tram.

The tram is a chain of compartments. They are egg shaped with a window on the doors. 40 people can sit in one tram. Together 2 trams or 80 people can go. The cars look like Ferris wheel cars as they go up and down.

Thus the Gateway Arch St.Louis, a symbol of the spirit of the Americans has become an iconic representation of the culture here. It symbolizes expansion and advancement. Symbolizing Missouri State, today this stands as testimony to a history of the past and the progress of the present.

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The tallest building of the world Tue, 19 Jan 2010 08:00:25 +0000 Ricky Modern Skyscraper technology has advanced to a point where we are seeing taller and taller buildings.  As a result, on an average every 5 years we hear about a new ‘Tallest building’.  It was not so long time ago that the Empire State building was the tallest in the world.  Today, when we talk about the skyscrapers, we refer to the Petronas Towers, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Taipei 101 and the Burj Dubai. All of these engineering masterpieces are unique in Petronas Twin Towers of Malaysiatheir own way and are considered to be the tallest and the best the world has seen.  Let’s have a look at them below in more detail.

Let’s start with the Petronas Twin Towers of Malaysia.  These towers have the distinction of being the tallest twin buildings in the world.  The towers stand at a height of 1483 feet.  The towers are connected by a sky bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors.  The unique part of this bridge is that it isn’t connected to the building.  The bridge is designed to sway in and out of the building, to prevent damage in times of high winds.  These towers have used a unique construction style using super strong lightweight cement instead of steel.  The cement fares far better during times of wind and it also weighs much more than steel.  However, the main reason why such a heavy structure is intact is the strong foundation.  The Towers boast of the largest foundations laid in the world.  The foundation of the Towers is dug 120m deep into the earth.

The second tallest building is Taipei 101, consisting of 101 floors above ground and 5 below ground.   This building has the distinction of being the first skyscraper of this size to he constructed in the new millennium.  The Taipei 101 is an engineering marvel considering the fact Taiwan is located in a monsoon area with strong winds and frequent earthquakes.  The Developers had to design a structure, which could withstand these forces of nature.  Engineers came up with an ingenious solution and called it the tuned mass damper.  This mass damper is suspended between the 92nd and 88th floor and is an astonishing 660 metric tons in weight.  It also acts as a pendulum, and moves slightly to compensate for strong winds on the building.  Tourists can easily access the 89th and 91st floors for the observatory and can have a glimpse of the mass damper.The Taipei 101 is considered to be Taiwan’s proudest possession.

Taipei 101

We now visit the pride of China, the Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC).  This tower has 62 office floors along with the Grand Hyatt Shanghai, which is the tallest hotel in the world.  The height of the tower is 492 meters.  The SWFC has three observation decks for tourists and are located on the 94th, 97th and 100th floors.  The 100th floor observation deck holds the record for being the tallest in the world. The most interesting aspect of SWFC is the trapezoid located at the top of the building.  This is said to make the building look like a giant bottle opener.  On the awards front, The SWFC was voted the best skyscraper of 2008.

Shanghai World Financial Center

In terms of optimum use of building space, the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Towers) is the best in the world.  The Willis Tower boasts of the highest number occupiable floors and also possesses the tallest roof top deck in the world.  This Skydeck, located on the 103rd floor features recent innovations such as a glass cabin popularly known as “The Hedge,” which extends out four feet and has a glass bottom to enable visitors see the street below.  The Hedge can withstand up to 4 metric tones.

Willis Tower

Finally, let’s have a look as the Burj Dubai, which now holds the distinction of being the new “Tallest skyscraper in the world” as it opened its doors to the world on 4th Jan 2010 .The Burj Dubai is the icing on the cake for a city that has seen such explosive growth over the last decade.  The height of the building is 2625 feet, which is way above the skyscrapers we have seen in the past.

burj dubai

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Nagoya – The City With A Unique Design Fri, 05 Jun 2009 23:16:34 +0000 Ricky nagoya12In spite of its reputation of being conservative and provincial, Nagoya has won a place in the list of UNESCO’s creative cities. It is centrally located and serves as a crossroads for the nation. It is the fourth largest city in Japan in terms of population, as well as the nucleus of the third largest metropolitan area in the nation.

Nagoya developed as the castle town of the Owari, one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family during the Edo Period.  However, much of the city, including most of its historic buildings, was destroyed in the air raids of 1945. Despite all this Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and the principal city of the Nobi plain

Nagoya is known for the vastness of the underground shopping centers around Nagoya Station–including Unimall, Terumina, Meichika, and Sun Road. The size of this underground complex with its restaurants, boutiques, and gift shops, ranks as the biggest in Japan they are well known for broad streets.

Nagoya is known as an industrial powerhouse, supplying the world with automobiles, machinery, aerospace parts and a wide variety of other products. Port of Nagoya perennially handles the largest volume of international cargo of any port in the nation.  This port has the biggest aquarium in Japan. You can also ride the unique ferryboat New Kinko (golden grampus) and tour the Nagoya Port.

The Nagoya castle is definitely worth watching which symbolizes the Golden Grampus and adorn the two rooftop corners of Nagoya Castle. These castles were destroyed during World War II but were reconstructed. They are now used as a museum and display valuable paintings, and artifacts include the drawing on the sliding doors. You can also view a few of the original artifacts that were not destroyed by the bomb.

Among the cities many temples and shrines Atsuta Jingu, Affectionately Called “Atsuta-san” by the People is worth visiting to have a glimpse of the sacred sword, one of the three divine symbols of the imperial throne. This treasure museum contains over 4000 historic items.

The Aichi Art and Culture Center includes a theatre that functions as an opera house a concert hall with a pipe organ, an art museum with collection from Picasso and Klimt, an art library with collections from specialized books, and an art plaza that introduces foreign artists can be seen here.

The city also boasts of Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which is one of the largest zoos in Asia, which easily requires at least a day to explore completely.

Nagoya has easy access to the country side and hence offers the international visitor an excellent look at both modern and traditional Japan.

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Kobe – A Mesmerizing Tourist Destination Fri, 05 Jun 2009 13:03:04 +0000 Ricky kobe-port-tower-kobe-japan-main1Kobe is the newest to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network as a City of Design. Kobe is the sixth largest city in Japan and has distinctive features that distinguish it from other Japanese cities.

The city of Kobe is nestled between the lush green Rokko Mountain range to the north and the shimmering blue water of the Seto Inland Sea to the south.  Kobe is a town that has been miraculously recovered from the earthquake.

There are many distinctive features of Kobe – the beauty of its surrounding sea and mountains, international cuisine, Kobe beef, sake, specialty cakes and coffee, fashionable ambience, cultural assets and many more add as jewel to the crown of Kobe

You can walk the streets of Kitano Cho, which is an exotic residential area to get a glimpse of the Japanese ethos as you walk down the lanes, you will find houses that are made of stone or brick. Some have fish-scale siding boards, while others have weather-vanes on their roofs. Some are used as coffee shops and boutiques, while others are used as historic museums.

Nunobiki Waterfallson the Ikuta River, rank in beauty with the Kegon and Nachi waterfalls. There are four waterfalls in this area Viz. Me (female), Tsudumi (drum), Meoto (couple), and O (male) waterfalls. O-waterfall is the most dynamic and beautiful with its 43-meter fall. The cave at the rear of the waterfall is said to be the Palace of the Dragon. This waterfall is an amazing sight of beauty and must be visited while in Kobe.

You can also take the cable car and the ropeway to get to the top of Mount Rokko to have a night view of the city. This is the longest rope way in Japan which takes you to a height of 931 meters. As you travel in the ropeway you will finds lights going smaller and smaller. When you reach the top of the mountain you will find various play spots, such as the pasture where you can watch the cattle and sheep graze, field athletics, a camping ground, and an artificial ski slope which is generally crowded on weekends.

While in Kobe visit the port Island that is the biggest manmade island in the world. This island hosts a convention center, a fashion building where apparel makers are consolidated, an amusement park, a science museum, and various other facilities.

Merican Park is a beautiful park made made by filling the American Wharf which was constructed in 1868. It contains the Kobe City Marine Museum, which resembles a yacht with a big white sail.

After your visit to the various destinations you can relax at Arima Onsen which is the oldest spa in Japan. There are two different kinds of water springs which is said to effective against any disease.  You can enjoy a relaxing bath at this ancient spa.

Once you visit this destination you will agree that this is one of the creative cities in the world.

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Montreal City Travel Guide – Canada’s Romantic Island City Fri, 05 Jun 2009 01:45:02 +0000 Ricky Montreal is a major hub of cultural pluralism in Canada. Vibrant Montreal is the third design city in UNESCO’s eminent list. Capable of admission in a number of areas other than design, the city is nonetheless the most avant-garde and stylish on the continent.

montreal-2Montreal derives its name from one of the hills, the Mont-Royal, and nowadays a very popular park with a view. There are eight hills in and around Montreal, peaking as high as 527 m, the remnants of Ice-Age Devonian volcanoes.  Montreal is located in the province of Quebec and it the second biggest city in Canada, it is also the second largest French-speaking city in the world.

It is a city full of history, art and festivals. Some of Montreal’s best known festivals include The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (Jazz Fest), Juste pour Rire (Just for Laughs), International Fireworks Competition, and The Montreal Film Festivals.

Whether walking down the cobble streets of old Montreal, shopping along busy downtown streets, or enjoying Montreal festivals visitors have something in offer to satiate their taste buds.

You can enjoy boat trips between the end of April and middle of October where powerful motorboats specially designed for the purpose run through the rapids from the Vieux Port. These tours are a great way for friends and families to relax while sightseeing.

On the Place d’Armes, the Neo-Gothic façade of the Basilica of Our Lady, built in 1829, with its twin towers fronts Montreal’s oldest Catholic parish church (founded 1656). The amazing interior is the work of Victor Bourgeau, resplendent with woodcarving and stained glass illustrating the history of Montreal city is a destination to be included in your itinerary.

Jardin Botanique is one of the leading botanical garden. The lay-out of the garden is wonderfully imaginative where visitors are drawn in particular to the Japanese Garden. The glasshouses too are exceptional, especially the displays of orchids and bonsai. The gardens contain some 22,000 species of plant on display. You will be charmed by the scents, the colors and the forms of the flora in one of the most important botanical gardens in the world.

To have a magnificent panorama of the whole of the 51 km length of the Ile de Montréal and the St Lawrence you can visit Mont- Royal which is the green lung near the city center.

A visit to Montreal’s Olympic Park which was the site of the 1976 Summer Olympics is a stunning experience. This stadium is the home of Montreal’s famous baseball team, the “Montreal Expos”. You can ride a cable car all the way to the top or you can even get a guided tour of Olympic Stadium.

When you visit this city you are sure to fall in love with the overflowing abundance of ethnicity that is woven into the heart of the city.

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Buenos Aires – Ground Zero For Memorable Travel Adventure Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:31:08 +0000 Ricky 20060128_-_vista_del_obelisco_desde_la_av_leandro_alem_calle_corrientes_buenos_airesBuenos Aires is the glamorous capital of Argentina and was the first city to be appointed by UNESCO as “The City Of Design” in 2005.

Through public and private collaboration this city has been able to harness the energy and innovation of its design sector for development initiatives on a local, regional and international level. The city has diversified its economic growth potentials and is also known for building one of the most vibrant and dynamic design scenes in Latin America.

Buenos Aires is a city which has people with a passion for life rivaled by no other. When you visit this amazing city you will be welcomed with a host of options to explore, You can check out the local culture, or learn to tango, to observe a sporting event, or  just merely have a business meeting, there is something for everyone.

Buenos Aires is located to the south of the equator which means the best time to visit would be during the spring months of September through December or during the fall, which runs from April through June. During these months the country side is absolutely breathtaking and the temperatures are very comfortable. You can visit a few iconic places that are well known and visited by tourist such as;

Tetro Col

The opera plays a vital role in this culture fabric of the city and hence you cannot afford to miss a visit to the iconic Tetro col which is the premier opera houses in the world.

Cathedral Metropolitana

Being a major bastion of Roman Catholics, this city houses a large number of landmarks to this faith. This structure is the crown jewel and evokes a Neo classical air, with a touch of the Baroque. The grand interior has several important monuments and works of art.


The fervent passion of football in this continent is legendary. If you enjoy the sport you can book your tickets for a match between Boca Juniors and River Plate Alternatively, you can attend a Boca match at the famous Estadio Alberto J. Armando, known as La Bombonera, or Chocolate Bowl.

Corrientes Avenue

Corrientes Avenue, a main artery in the city that ranks as one of the best in the world. This street is known as “The Street that never sleeps” offers a plethora of landmarks such as Obelisk of Buenos Aires to elegant cafes, bookstores, theatres and shops; Corrientes is a prime area of the city which all tourists should explore during their visit to Buenos Aires.


Palermo, a virtual city within Buenos Aires is popular with young tourist as a bohemian hub for students and artists. The Parque Tres de Febrero, a massive sweep of green space, and colonial architecture of Palermo Viejo is a place that cannot be missed by tourists. Museo Evita is another museum that cannot be missed in your itinerary. It does not have reference to Madonna however; you can find a collection of solid historic facts about the wife of President Juan Domingo Peron, commonly referred to as Evita. This museum includes stunning footage of a few of her speeches.

La Boca

The barrio of La Boca was the traditional haunt for immigrants from Genoa, Italy who have whole heartedly contributed to the development of Buenos Aires over the years. This area has a flavor of the European culture even today and offers some of the most remarkable architecture in the city. The pedestrian street of Caminito is another popular spot with myriad tango performances that all tourist enjoy to watch

Avenida de Mayo

The Avenida de Mayo is a veritable tribute to the Gran Via of Madrid, rampant with a Neoclassic and Art Nouveau ethos. From the colonial era Cabildo government house to the Palacio Barolo, Chile Hotel and Rodin’s Thinker at Congress Plaza, Avenida de Mayo has a number of photogenic options that you cannot amiss.

Buenos Aires is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful architecture, culture, and cuisine!

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