Monday, May 5, 2008

19 (Colorful) Places to See Before You Die

Even if you haven’t yet been able to travel as your wildest dreams may desire, put these locations on your list of places to see in life. I hope you enjoy the pictures in our color-centric version of the series, and we regret it can’t contain every one of the world’s gorgeous locations.

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza , also called Khufu's Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu, and Pyramid of Cheops, is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Visibly all that remains is the underlying step-pyramid core structure seen today. Many of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base of the Great Pyramid. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories regarding the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction theories are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.

Cherry Blossom Viewing, Japan
The main cherry blossom season has ended in most cities across southern and central Japan, including Tokyo and Kyoto. Meanwhile, the blossom front is moving into northern Japan and higher elevations, and already reached Sapporo on Hokkaido on April 21, two weeks ahead of the average year's schedule.
The cherry blossom (sakura) is Japan's unofficial national flower. It has been celebrated for many centuries and takes a very prominent position in Japanese culture.
There are many dozens of different cherry tree varieties in Japan, most of which bloom for just a couple of days in spring. The Japanese celebrate that time of the year with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the blooming trees.

Notre-Dame Basilica, Quebec, Canada
Notre-Dame Basilica (French: Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) is a basilica in the historic district of Old Montreal, in Montreal Quebec, Canada. The church is located at 116 Notre Dame Street West, facing Place d'Armes, at the corner of Saint Sulpice Street.The church's Gothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world; its interior is grand and colourful, its ceiling is coloured deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold. It is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues. Unusual for a church, the stained glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary do not depict biblical scenes, but rather scenes from the religious history of Montreal. It also has a Casavant Frères pipe organ, which comprises four keyboards, 97 stops, almost 7000 individual pipes and a pedal board

Ayers Rock and the Olgas, Australia
Uluru, also referred to as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km (208 mi) south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs; 450 km (280 mi) by road. Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. It has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a World Heritage Site

Siena, Italy
A wonderful city that is the home of some of the most precious medieval art and architectural treasures. Siena offers a never-ending number of cultural sights and interests for travelers: the unique “Palio” and wine tasting in the old wine bars, romantic walks along the narrow alleys and excursions outside the city in the Siena Chianti area and in Val’Orcia.

The Great Ocean Road, Australia
The Great Ocean Road is a 273km stretch of road along the South Eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Geelong and Warrnambool. The road was constructed as a Memorial to the First World War. It is one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives.
Much of the road hugs tightly to the coast, offering outstanding views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. Between Anglesea and Apollo Bay is a particularly scenic stretch of road which passes through many towns where mountains meet the sea. The section near Port Campbell provides access by foot or helicopter to some of the most scenic coastline in the world, because of its striking and dramatic natural limestone and sandstone rock formations. These formations have been created by erosion from waves and rain and include Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Bridge (renamed to London Arch in recent years after the 'bridge' partially collapsed), and most famously The Twelve Apostles.

Palacio de Cristal, Retiro Park, Madrid
The Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) is a large and popular, 140 hectare park in Madrid, Spain not far from the Prado Museum. Once outside the city, Madrid now entirely surrounds the park. The park was originally the site of a royal palace built in 1632 under the reign King Philip IV. Most of the palace was destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars, leaving a space that was eventually opened to the public in 1868. The few remaining buildings of the palace now house museum collections. The Palacio de Cristal is a glass pavilion inspired by The Crystal Palace in London and designed in 1887 by Ricardo Vel�zquez Bosco. Vel�zquez Bosco also designed the park's Palacio de Vel�zquez.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both US Highway 101 and State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937 and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and the United States. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

The Vatican, Rome
Vatican City, officially State of the Vatican City (Italian: Stato della Città del Vaticano), is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and with a population of around 800, it is the smallest independent state in the world by both population and area. The city-state came into existence by virtue of the Lateran Treaty in 1929, which spoke of it as a new creation (Preamble and Article III), not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756 to 1870) that had previously encompassed central Italy. Most of this territory was absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860, and the final portion, namely the city of Rome with a small area close to it, ten years later, in 1870. Vatican City is a non-hereditary, elected monarchy that is ruled by the Bishop of Rome — the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all clergymen of the Catholic Church. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have resided in the area that in 1929 became the Vatican City only since the return from Avignon in 1377. Previously, they resided in the Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill on the opposite side of Rome, which was out of repair in 1377. The signing of the agreements that established the new state took place in the latter building, giving rise to the name of Lateran Pacts, by which they are known.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City of Jerusalem
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin: Sanctum Sepulchrum, also called the Church of the Resurrection, (Greek: Ναός της Αναστάσεως, Naos tis Anastaseos; Arabic,كنيسة القيامة, Kanīsat al-Qiyāma; Armenian: Սուրբ Հարություն Surp Harutyun) by Eastern Christians, is a Christian church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. The site is venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, (the Hill of Calvary), where the New Testament says that Jesus was crucified,[2] and is said to also contain the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church has been an important pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Silvaplana, Switzerland
Silvaplana is a municipality in the district of Maloja in the Swiss canton of Graubünden and the name of a lake in the municipality. It is near St Moritz.The lake is well known for its predictable winds and is therefore a popular venue for water-sailsports including particularly Sailboarding, Kiteboarding and dinghy-sailing. There is a major watersports centre on the SW shore. An advantage of this location is that spectators are never far from the action, as they might be for more conventional maritime locations.
During August 2007 the International Fireball Dinghy sailing class will conduct a World Championship event at Silvaplana; there are some 100 anticipated entries. Local media interest will be high since the current World Champions are a Swiss pairing, having won their title in Vancouver, Canada in 2006.
The current proposal is for the next (2008-) class championship to be held in Thailand.

Windmills, Oia, Greece
Oia (Greek Οία, pronounced [ˈi.a]) is a community on the islands of Thira (Santorini) and Therasia, in the Cyclades, Greece. The population was 1,230 inhabitants at the 2001 census, and the land area is 19.449 km². The population and land area are distributed as follows: 962 persons on 10.150 km² in Santorini, and 268 persons on 9.299 km² in Therasia. The community shares the island of Thira with the Municipality of Thira (Santorini), and is centered in the northwesternmost part of the island.

St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова что на Рву - The Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God, or simply Pokrovskiy Cathedral - Russian: Покровский Собор; better known as the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed , Saint Basil's Cathedral - Russian: Храм Василия Блаженного) is a multi-tented church on the Red Square in Moscow that also features distinctive onion domes. The cathedral is traditionally perceived as symbolic of the unique position of Russia between Europe and Asia. The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the Terrible) and built between 1555 and 1561 in Moscow to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan. In 1588 Tsar Fedor Ivanovich had a chapel added on the eastern side above the grave of Basil Fool for Christ (yurodivy Vassily Blazhenny), a Russian Orthodox saint after whom the cathedral was popularly named. Saint Basil's is located at the southeast end of Red Square, just across from the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin. Not particularly large, it consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation. The cathedral's design follows that of contemporary tented churches, notably those of Ascension in Kolomenskoye (1530) and of St John the Baptist's Decapitation in Dyakovo (1547).

Keelung, Taiwan
Keelung City (traditional Chinese: 基隆市; Hanyu Pinyin: Jīlóng Shì; Tongyong Pinyin: Jilóng Shìh; Wade-Giles: Chi-lung-shih; Taiwanese: Ke-lâng-chhī) is a major port city situated in the northeastern part of Taiwan. It borders Taipei County and forms the Taipei-Keelung metropolitan area, along with the City and County of Taipei. Nicknamed the Rainy Port for its frequent rain and maritime role, the city is Taiwan's second largest seaport (after Kaohsiung). Keelung is currently administered as a provincial city of Taiwan Province, Republic of China.

Hong Kong skyline
Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Macau. The territory lies on the eastern side of the Pearl River Delta, bordering Guangdong province in the north and facing the South China Sea in the east, west and south. Beginning as a trading port in the 19th century, Hong Kong has developed into a leading financial centre.
Hong Kong was a dependent territory of the United Kingdom from 1842 until the transfer of its sovereignty to the People's Republic of China in 1997. The Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Hong Kong stipulate that Hong Kong operate with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2047, fifty years after the transfer. Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defence and foreign affairs, while the Government of Hong Kong is responsible for its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, immigration policy, and delegates to international organisations and events. Together with London, New York City, Tokyo, etc., Hong Kong is also listed as an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC).

The Nile, Egypt
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. However, recent findings suggest that the Amazon River may be longer. The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile, the latter being the source of most of the Nile's water and fertile soil, but the former being the longer of the two. The White Nile rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source in southern Rwanda , and flows north from there through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and southern Sudan, while the Blue Nile starts at Lake Tana in Ethiopia, flowing into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital Khartoum. The northern section of the river flows almost entirely through desert, from Sudan into Egypt, a country whose civilization has depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population of Egypt and all of its cities, with the exception of those near the coast, lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan; and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along the banks of the river. The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa; IPA: [ʁɛˈpublikɐ puɾtuˈgezɐ]), is a country in southwestern Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula. Being the westernmost country of mainland Europe, Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal.
Mainland Portugal is split by its main river, the Tagus. The northern landscape is mountainous in the interior areas, with plateaus indented by river valleys. The south, between the Tagus and the Algarve (the Alentejo), features mostly rolling plains and a climate somewhat warmer and drier than in the cooler and rainier north. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo by mountains, enjoys a Mediterranean climate much like southern Spain. Snow falls occasionally (on some cold winter days) in the northern interior of the country, from October to May. However, it is a very rare event in the south. The coast registers snow usually once in five or six years.

Towards Maroon Pass, Aspen, Colorado
The Elk Mountains are a high, rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains of western Colorado in the United States. The mountains sit on the western side of the Continental Divide, largely in southern Pitkin and northern Gunnison counties, in the area southwest of Aspen, south of the Roaring Fork River valley, and east of the Crystal River. The range sits west of the Sawatch Range and northeast of the West Elk Mountains. Much of the range is located within the White River National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest, as well as the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and Raggeds Wilderness.
The highest peaks in the range are its fourteeners, Castle Peak (14,265 ft), Maroon Peak (14,156 ft), Capitol Peak (14,130 ft), Snowmass Mountain (14,092 ft), Pyramid Peak (14,018 ft), and North Maroon Peak (14,014 ft).[1] Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak are collectively known as the Maroon Bells, a popular destination for recreation alpinism. Mount Sopris (12,953 ft) sits at the northwest end of the range and dominates the skyline of the lower Roaring Fork Valley and the town of Carbondale, serving as an unofficial symbol of the area.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore
Saint Andrew's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Singapore, reputedly the country's largest cathedral. It is located near City Hall MRT Interchange in the Downtown Core, within the Central Area in Singapore's central business district. It is the Cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Singapore and the mother church of her 26 parishes and more than 55 congregations here. The logo of the Cathedral is the St Andrew's Cross. The Year 2006 marks the 150th Anniversary of the St Andrew's Church Mission since 1856.

credited to flickr users: Christopher Chan, Jeff Epp, Geff Rossi, Becky E, il Presbite, nadi0, Barrosopal, Christopher Chan, rodliam,, chuha, mira_o, Matthew Fang, Jazzpic, selva, Majassis, StevenLPierce


Anonymous said...
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petson83 said...

Nice compilation...

Vignesh the well-travelled shrimp farmer from Sengkang said...

St.Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore? Why is it a must-see? I've seen prettier cathedrals, older churches, bigger temples, more 'powerful' places...what makes this a must-see?

Most of the rest, I agree (though there are a few 'maybe's).

Anonymous said...

As you can see from the title of this compilation, it's not the specific location. It's the fact it is colorful/beautiful by itself or in the grand scheme of the area. In the Singapore picture, you can see it's probably the area as well as the cathedral itself. Age, size... not in this presentation.

Jeff@MySuperChargedLife said...

Great list! Here's mine:

href="">10 Places I Have To See Before I Die

flashy007 said...

Hey those are my top places to visit, at least I visited one of them, the Golden gate bridge...

Travel Guide said...

You have made a great list of places to be visited. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco looks stunningly beautiful in that picture

holidays dubai said...

All the mentioned places are worth to watch and moreover i would like to see all places before my dying.