Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Buenos Aires is the biggest and the most populated metropolitan city

Buenos Aires is the biggest and the most populated metropolitan city in the country with a population of more than 13 million people. It is the capital of Argentina and is considered to be the financial, commercial, industrial, cultural and political capital of the country. It is located on the eastern shore of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent.

The city derived its name from Nostra Signora di Bonaria, a sanctuary located in the Cagliari, Sardinia. In Spanish, this name means fair winds.

Inhabitants of the city are known as Portenos. A majority of population residing in the city has its origins in Spain and Italy. Apart from these, there are also people originating from other European nations including Germany, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, France, Croatia, England and Wales. Other major communities living in the city include Jewish immigrants, Arabs, Armenians, Japanese, Chinese and Koreans. 90 % of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. Spanish is the official language in this city.
The capital of Argentina is an interesting tourist destination offering several cultural attractions and an ample glimpse of urban cosmopolitan life in Argentia. The biggest attraction in this city is the Teatro Colon, one of the world's greatest opera houses. Other notable features in the city include the University of Buenos Aires, City Hall, building of the Argentine National Congress and several museums.
Although immigrants populated the City for many decades, Buenos Aires developed its own identity reflected in icons such as the Tango and its slang, 'lunfardo'. More than 3 million people each day witness the relentless pace of a City that never sleeps.

While in Buenos Aires visitors will find themselves bombarded with choices on what to do. An obvious selection is spending time on Tango related activities, such as shows and night classes or sneaking into the many bars where thousands of locals of all ages practice the dance regularly. But there are many more things visitors can enjoy doing, from exploring a miriad of museums and theaters to spending time discovering some of the great local food, including the world reknown argentine beef. City tours and walks through parks and neighborhoods are mandatory to acquire a taste of Buenos Aires.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Argentina - The Connoisseur of Wine

The real word Argentina in reality means "land of silver", but you would be flabbergasted to be acquainted with the fact that Argentina is in reality famous for its wineries! This beautiful country is in fact known as the 5th largest wine producer in the world, and they have been doing this ever since the 16th century! If you are a big admirer of wine and you are looking forward to taste the sweet nectar, you will have about 1800 wineries that you can select from!

The foodstuff that you will discover in Argentina truly has a variety of impacts on you that you might never have assumed. The countries that have Argentinian influence are Italy, Spain, France as well as Germany! Ensure that you try some genuine chorizo, which is a hot meat based sausage, and it tastes scrumptious with eggs.

* Argentina is situated in South America and stands bordered by Paraguay and Bolivia in the north, Brazil and Uruguay in the northeast and Chile in the west and south.
* Argentina is the 8 largest country of the world, spreading over an area of approximately 2,766,890 sq km.
* Argentina comprises of the British controlled territories of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and 969,464 sq km of Antarctica.
* The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires and its official language is Spanish.
* The official religion of Argentina is Roman Catholic.
* As per the law, the President and Vice President of Argentina should be Roman Catholic.
* Argentina is a representative federal and democratic republic, with 23 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires as the Federal Capital.
* Iguazu Falls of Argentina are even higher than the Niagara Falls.
* Mt. Aconcagua of Argentina is the tallest mountain in the whole of South America.
* Moreno Glacier of Argentina is amongst the few glaciers in the world that are advancing.
* The popular dance form ‘Tango’ belongs to Argentina.
* Majority of the population in Argentina is of European origin.
* The cuisine of Argentina is largely influenced by that of Spain, Italy, Germany, France and other European countries.
* Current President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was the first woman President to be elected in Argentina.
* Argentina is the 30th largest country in the world by population, with just over 40 million people.
* The official currency of Argentina is the peso.
* Argentina were one of the first countries to have radio broadcasting. The first broadcast was made on the 27th of August, 1920. Only twenty people had a receiver at the time!
* Average life expectancy in Argentina is 76 years.
* About 10% of people living in Argentina have private health cover.
* Argentina has a very good literacy rate- 97.6%. This ranks them at equal 58th in the world.
* The official language of Argentina is Spanish, although many people speak Italian and German. Some indigenous populations still speak their native languages.

*  Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Argentina.
* A major export of Argentina is wine.
* Like animated films? The world’s first animated films were made and released in Argentina, by a man named uirino Cristiani in 1917.
* The Teatro Colón, located in Buenos Aires (the capital and largest city of Argentina), is one of the great opera houses in the world.
* Argentina loves movies! They have one of the highest rates of movie watching in the world. They enjoy watching both locally made movies and Hollywood movies.
* The Argentine government has estimated that 750,000 people living in Argentina are illegal immigrants.
* 20% of the population (according to the 2001 census) lack indoor running water and/or indoor plumbing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Statue of Christ the Redeemer

Most people associate Rio de Janeiro with the Statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the new seven wonders of the world, which overlooks the city from the top of Corcovado Mountain. Visitors to Rio make their way to the top of Corcovado via a cog wheel train, a taxi, or by walking on the five-mile long path. Our Celebrity Infinity shore excursion group did the two-mile, 10-minute train ride to the top of Corcovado passing through scenic Tijuca Forest. We purchased tickets with a stamped boarding time for the ride to the top, but had to wait in line to ride back down. At the train station near the top, escalators or 220 steps upward take visitors the to the foot of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The massive statue at the top of Corcovado Mountain is impressive. The views of Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain, and the Rio beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana are amazing on a clear day.

Surely Mount Corcovado is Rio’s main attraction. With 710 m (2,329 ft) above see level, this mountain supports the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the best known monuments all over the world. The 38 meter (125 ft) high statue weighs 1,145 tons (1,262 net tons), and was inaugurated in 1931. To reach the main terrace, you have to climb 222 steep stairs, or use an escalator or panoramic elevator. To ascend Mount Corcovado, a train on one of the oldest Brazilian railways, inaugurated by Emperor Peter II in 1884, may be used.

The base stands on the top of the Corcovado hill (710 meters) offering a magnificent view of Rio: the Guanabara bay, Niteroi, the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, the botanical garden, the Jockey Club and the Tijuca National Park, Further north, Copacabana, Botafogo, Flamengo and the famous Sugar Loaf.
On the platform there are souvenir stores, an information office, toilets, bars and small shops with fast food and light meals at reasonable prices. You may visit it from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Admission, either on foot or by car, is $8 per person.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Miraculous Bahamas

The Bahamas, a wide-spread archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean located off the eastern coastlines of Florida and Cuba, includes over 700 islands, along with dozens of cays and hidden coves.

Columbus first sighted these islands in 1492, and at that time they were the established home of the Lucayan Indians.

Over the next few centuries the Indian population was decimated, and the islands became a major launching base for the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean, as well as the American mainland.

In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, American and British factions gained control of this valuable real estate, until the Bahamas finally gained total independence on July 10, 1973.

These low-lying islands (all similar in appearance) are ringed by coral reefs and aqua-green waters that teem with sea life of all descriptions.

Today tourism is the major industry, and these stunning islands of gregarious people, beautiful scenery and sunny skies are one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean, and for that matter - the world.
Newcomers to The Islands of The Bahamas quickly realize that they have stumbled upon not one, but many destinations. Between the "poles" of Grand Bahama and Great Inagua are 23 inhabited islands and thousands of unpopulated islets and cays (pronounced "keys"). Cosmopolitan Nassau, once ruled by pirates, seems a world away from the desert-like wildlife sanctuary of Inagua. On many of the islands, tiny villages seem lifted from the Massachusetts coast and set down amongst palms and pines and iridescent sands. These beautiful islands lie only 50 miles off the Florida coast - far closer than any destination in the Caribbean. Calm waters and cooling tradewinds have rightfully earned...With more than 5% of the planet's reef mass, The Bahamas offer inexhaustible pleasures and challenges to snorkelers and divers. The natural beauty of the water extends to the thousands of miles of shoreline, which has some of the world's most stunningly beautiful and unsullied beaches. From the pink sands of Harbour Island and Eleuthera  to the deserted strands of the Exumas and San Salvador, there is a lifetime of beaches to experience. Further inland are gardens and National Parks with rare and endangered species, such as the exotic Abaco Parrot and the Bahamian Iguana. Although The Bahamas are as diverse and numerous as the days of the year, the reassuring unifier is the charm and hospitality of its people. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism offers a People-to-People programme; an opportunity for visitors to experience a genuine and informal taste of Bahamian hospitality and culture. Volunteers holding interests similar to yours give you a taste of Bahamian life and potentially a lifelong friendship.  Bahamians will be more than happy to introduce you to the richness of their history, folklore, culture  and cuisine. Over a succulent dish of cracked conch and guava duff, you'll hear tales about the nefarious pirate Blackbeard  and the mysterious blue holes of Andros. They'll tell you about the original Eleutheran Adventurers, the playful the Junkanoo troupes.  You can start exploring the Islands of the Bahamas by using the clickable map. Please sign our guest book and let us know what you think, share some stories of the Bahamas, or leave a hot tip. You can also read the tales of other readers on our Bahamas Browser's Page. Finally, we hope that this presentation convinces you to leave that computer screen behind and come visit us in person.