Archives for category: Travel

Can you picture Greece without ownership of the ancient Parthenon?

Selling the Parthenon and Acropolis of Greece, Athens, Historical sites vanishing, endangered parthenon and historical sites, Greeks, economy savior

Photo from stock.xchng

Greece sunk into debt in recent years. We hope to see a vicious Spartan fight against bankruptcy, but German politicians suggested a curt solution: sell the Parthenon, Acropolis and Aegean islands. Should the Greeks continue preserving the reminder of their history, or should they be smart to let go of the ancient sites for the sake of their economy?

Cling to the past or focus on the present? This is a countrywide scale of past-present dilemma.

Unstable economy is a peril to the historical sites of Greece. There are other factors that endanger historical sites.

In just one hour, Mali Islamists has destroyed three Mausolea in Timbuktu. All of it are U.N. World heritage sites and served as religious and historical landmarks. Rebellion seems to be a fast way to eradicate historic sites.

Visiting can harm too. Over a million tourists came to Machu Picchu in 2011. The ancient city that survives centuries of calamities and invasion is now an “endangered architectural site” (TravelVivi); the influx of tourists contributing to its springing demise.

But Ecuador is on track of people coming to Galapagos Island. They are limiting the number of visitors and the length of stays. Fuel consumption and pollution are also regulated to maintain the pristine of the island. Many countries may find it hard to follow Ecuador’s steps since tourism is an industry that feeds economy. Historical sites are competing against money.

Political decisions can also affect the duration of historical sites. U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO, an organization that protects world’s heritage sites.Without the priority, historical sites won’t be secured.

If they do vanish, how long will the memory remain?

Sources:
Mali Islamists destroy tombs in Timbuktu; CNN
Ecuador to limit number of visitors to Galapagos Islands; Travel Weekly
8 Places Almost Destroyed by Tourists; TravelVivi
 

Some prisons are as good as your holiday vacation.

Best Prisons to Live in the world, most free prison, relaxed and calm inmates, dancing and having fun in prison after committing crime

Prisons are punishment for misconduct. They are built to maintain order in the society, believing in the premise that getting into prison sucks your privilege to live freely so you wouldn’t want to be there.

These five prisons are still prisons in a way that it locks you out of the “real world”, but there are privileges that would make you rethink which would you prefer to be in.

Five star prison in Austria

Justizzentrum Leoben, modern and futuristic facilities for a prison, good life inside the prison in Austria

Photo from grazt.at

What the hell right? People save up for 3 day brief stays in a five star hotel, when these inmates in Justizzentrum Leoben get to stay in a five star facility for years, if not lifetime. The prison is secured, luxurious and modern.

Cebu inmates dance

Cebu Dancing Inmates in the Philippines, happy choreography of prisoners inside the prison, thriller, michael jackson, Psy, Gangnam Style

Photo from knowyourmeme.com

They are the inmates in the viral hit “Thriller“, which has 51.5 million views (so far). Instead of burning time inside the cells, they learn a routine, dance in synchrony, and post it to YouTube. Their latest vid? Gangnam style.

Family unit cells

Family unit cells, family friendly prisons, inmates won't leave family behind, family and social life inside the prison

Photo from gulfnews.com

Somewhere in Spain, the Aranjuez prison is nice enough to build family unit cells where the prisoners could bond with his/her children. The walls are painted with jolly Disney characters. Playground and nursery are accessible.

Community-based the prison

Community-based prison in Bolivia, prisoners are free to buy their own cells and property, work, have a family like a normal person

Photo from palmer365.com

San Pedro Prison in Bolivia is close to normal. No guards, no gates, no bars. Instead, you’ll see children playing around with “market stalls, restaurants, hairdressers and even a hotel” (Murano, 2009).  On top of it all, prisoners have to work and buy their own cells. Like the outside world, the more money you have, the more advantaged your situation will be.

The summer camp prison

The summer camp prison, inmates and prisoners live in a paradise, beach tanning, skiing in the winter, ocean view, summer fun

Photo from CNN.com

Inmates in Bastoy Prison will feel like in a holiday, whole year round. They have horses to ride around the island of pine trees and rocky coasts. Craving a baked salmon? They have chefs to cook for them. They even have the beach to dip in summer; and the ocean’s view will always be there if they want to relax. Aaah, imagine the sound of that. Ironically, they have a more free lifestyle inside the prison distant from what they can afford. No surprise that 20% of prisoners who are released reoffend to come back.

Would you approve of these prisons?

Sources:
10 of the World’s Most Unusual Prisons; Oddee
Welcome to the world’s nicest prison; CNN

The requirements: good health, ludicrous loads of money and shots of bravery.

Spaceplane, space tourism, earth atmosphere, out in the space, wealthy adventure, excitement, travel outside

Photo from NASA

The adventure that history may think as fictional or delusional is now taking off with us. Space tourism is welcoming wealthy adventurers to go somewhere where not many has been and seen. Like what Virgin Galactic said, “space is a virgin territory”.

After a brief tease of the thrilling tour, people jumped aboard.  From 520 listed customers, £64M ($103M) is already in deposits. The first batch of flight will happen next year.  Among the early birds to space were known personalities – Hollywood’s Paris Hilton, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; scientists James Lovelock and Stephen Hawking; and royal Princess Beatrice. See Virgin Galactic passenger list.

A spaceplane can accommodate eight people. Two are pilots and six are passengers. Perhaps, among the six passengers was a photographer to keep track of the adventure. Virgin Galactic is excited to bring in the first batch of space tourists photos. With this mission of resolute publicity and marketing, it won’t be for long until they earned back their £162M ($261M) investment for the fleet of spaceplanes. In fact, the space industry has the potential to reach $1.6B in the next decade.

This growing industry also has growing competition. Orbital Technologies, a Russian company, plans to construct a “Hotel in the Heavens”.  No gravity is the gimmick of the hotel. The price to get there was £500,000 ($806,000) and £100,000 ($161,000) to stay for five nights. Space Adventures in Virginia will bring you to the International Space Station for $50M. Other companies offering the adventure are emerging in California and Texas while a European conference was held in London in the talks of space tourism.

How will it go? Everything will seem like a flash. 90 seconds to ascend with a speed of 4,000km/h. After six to seven minutes of gliding to the space engineless and gravityless, they’ll start descending. Tourists will appreciate a view similar to this:

We don’t know where it’s going from here. I guess there will be more men – ridiculously wealthy men – to step on the moon in the near future.

Would you travel in space?

Sources:
Space tourism: to infinity and beyond?; The Guardian
Space Tourism Is Here! Wealthy Adventurers Wanted; The New York Times

The true causes Traffic jam?

traffic jam, study research experiment on traffic, traffic due to people and car density, bus, bike bicycle, bus, traffic excuse, late for work appointment

Photo from geo.sunysb.edu

It isn’t the density of people, but the density of cars. As shown in the photo above, a bunch of people occupied the whole street when they rode with their personal cars. Head-striking traffic is eradicated when people use economical mediums such as a bus or environmental such as bicycle.

December of last year sold 1,145,079 vehicles in United States. With roughly a million cars sold each month, no wonder why our roads are intersected with traffic.

People blame different factors to traffic. Main in the list was the disturbances, like accident or construction constricting the road. And of course, rush hour, the most used excuse.

Japan Airlines CEO Haruka Nishimatsu rides the public bus to work; while every person is prided with his or her own vehicle in the United States.

If you’ll just go to the book store a block away, walking won’t be bad. Cycling is a nice time to think and feel the rush of air while all those time burning hundreds of calories. Technology can help us live better, but not to the point of laziness. There’s no technology for clearing away traffic magically nor technology to permanently keep an inactive body healthy.

If people use their feet to pace a proximity, or be smart to ride with other people than seclude themselves on their personal cars all the time, there will be less traffic.

So, can you walk?

Sources:
December Auto Sales Primed For Year’s High; Auto Observer
Japan Airlines’ CEO pays himself less than the pilots, takes the bus to work; boingboing

Ibiza, the ideal place to go to on holidays; yet research has shown many return depressed and disillusioned.

Vacation of a lifetime,dream vacation in beach, Spain, mental health and psychology of travel and vacation, clear water, tropical beach, young man

Photos from Philip Larson’s and Adam Russell’s flickr

People save money for years in order to enjoy the life on Ibiza for a few weeks. A vacation to live up to. But when you arrive there, everything is different than expected. You’re not the only one in the expensive hotel. Your expensive hotel is one of the cheapest in comparison to the others, and your clothes, on which a lot of money was spent, are nothing different from other people’s clothes. You’re normal.

You always were normal. But when you’re, for 3 weeks, trying not be, you still are. What did you save all that money for? To live the life, partying all week, to find out it doesn’t help. Ibiza should have been the distraction, but it became the eye-opener. But realizing all this, you think, well, if it’s all for nothing, why not release the brakes and go wild? Which is exactly what people do. Drugs and alcohol, and not a little.

The worst part might still be coming back. Back to all, found out, you really are but don’t want to be. Some even end up with addictions, because of all the party drugs and alcohol from Ibiza.

The advise experts give to people who have a vacation to Ibiza planned but unable to cancel it? Make an appointment with a psychologist before you go; he will be busy when you return.

Have you been depressed from a holiday?

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