Archive for November, 2011
SYDNEY, Nov. 28 (UPI) — an Australian woman claims she was held against her will on a Church of Scientology cruise ship for 12 years.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Valeska Paris said the church’s leader, David Miscavige, sent her to the cruise ship The Freewinds when she was 17 to stop her mother from taking her away from Scientology.
The broadcaster said she was born into a Scientology family in Switzerland and at age 6, moved to the church’s headquarters in the United Kingdom, where she was placed in its youth wing, then joined its Sea Organization at 14, ABC said.
“I was basically hauled in and told that my mum had attacked the church and that I needed to disconnect from her because she was suppressive,” Paris said.
Her mother had criticized Scientology on French TV after her ex-husband committed suicide, ABC said.
The Freewinds cruises around the Caribbean and docks at small islands.
“They take your passport when you go on the ship and you’re in the middle of an island,” Paris said. “So it’s a bit hard [to escape] and by that time I was 18, I’d been in Scientology my whole life. It’s not like I knew how to escape.”
Paris left the Freewinds when she was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force in Sydney, described by Scientologists as a voluntary religious retreat and by detractors as a punitive re-education camp, ABC said. At the camp, she met former St. George Rugby League champion Chris Guider, then married him and left the church.
In a statement, the Church of Scientology denied Paris’ claim she was held against her will.
Published on November 25, 2011 Published on November 25, 2011
SYDNEY — Equalization is not just a Cape Breton issue, a St. Francis Xavier University professor told an audience at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, Friday.
The often contentious topic of debate is also found across Canada and is especially evident in Europe, according to James Bickerton, a professor of political science, co-ordinator of development studies and co-ordinator of Canadian studies at the Antigonish university.
“There is an international literature on regional development,” said the guest speaker at the Sustainable Economic Growth Through fair Equalization Distribution conference.
“It’s much bigger in Europe than it is in North America. but in Europe when they think of regions they think about places like Scotland and Spain — much bigger regions.”
For the last decade, he’s been familiarizing himself with comparative case studies, especially those from Europe.
“There are some very useful kinds of comparisons that can be made. I’ve found that helpful in looking at the situation in Canada.”
His interest in the topic began when he made regional development the subject of a 1990 thesis while attending Carleton University.
That work was later published as a book.
“Since then this has been an area of research I’ve kept up, looking at regionalism and regional development. I’ve also done a few papers that feature Cape Breton as a case study in particular talking about the problems of regional disparities and regional building.”
When the Cape Breton Regional Municipality took the province of Nova Scotia to court in search of a better equalization formula for municipalities, he wrote a background document for the CBRM.
During his Friday speech he spoke in general terms about the importance of equalization and its importance to regional development in Cape Breton.
The conference will continue today at the cruise pavilion, beginning at 9 a.m. when Catherine Beagan-Flood speaks on the legal aspect of equalization and the constitution of Canada.
A panel featuring Began-Flood, Bickerton and representatives from Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness follows at 10:30 a.m.
Group discussions, an action plan and closing remarks are also part of Saturday’s schedule.
The event is open to the public at a cost of $20 per adult and student.
MV Sydney 2000 at night
Celebrate new Years Eve amongst Sydney Harbour?s festivities and fireworks on one of Captain Cook Cruises new Years Eve cruises. Offering a range of cruises across its fleet and even discounts for booking now, there is a cruise to suit everyone and every budget.
Be on one of the select number of vessels in the Harbour Lights Parade and cruise inside the fireworks exclusion zone on Captain Cook Cruises show Deck cruise or Seafood Buffet Dinner and Fireworks cruise.
The prestigious Sydney 2000 show Deck is perfect for groups of friends or family. Passengers will enjoy a delicious 4 course meal, an open bar of premium still and sparkling wines, beers and spirits and can dance the night away to a live band.
The show Deck cruise is priced at only $699 per person and departs no.6 Jetty Circular Quay on Saturday 31 December 2011 at 8.00pm with boarding from 7.30pm and disembarks at 12.45am.
The Seafood Buffet Dinner and Fireworks cruise onboard the Captain Cook III includes a scrumptious deluxe seafood buffet, an open bar of still and sparkling wine, local and imported beers and soft drinks, a glass of Moet & Chandon at midnight and a DJ to entertain guests all night long.
The Seafood Buffet Dinner and Fireworks cruise is priced at $690 per person but book now and be one of the first 50 bookings and receive 20% off the normal cruise price. The cruise departs at 7.30pm, with boarding from 7.15pm from no.1 King St Wharf Darling Harbour and returns at 12.45am. Guaranteed window seating is available for an additional $59 per person.
For front row seats to all the fun of the fireworks, a Matilda Rocket Fireworks cruise is the place to be! Grab your party dress, comfortable shoes and bring your own drinks and picnic dinner for a new Years Eve to remember.
The Matilda Rocket Fireworks cruise departs from no.2 King Street Wharf Darling Harbour at 8.00pm with boarding from 7.30pm and returns at 12.30am on Saturday 31 December 2011 and is priced at $399 per person.
181 comments so far
It’s made worse by people driving slowly when they have the opportunity to drive at the speed limit
Scoby – November 30, 2011, 11:52AM
But Barry said he’d fix it!
eyeroll | Sydney – November 30, 2011, 11:54AM
Well… what’s there to say? It’s not like this is any news to anyone in Sydney.
Steve | Sydney – November 30, 2011, 11:55AM
My commute is remarkably smooth, I have no traffic jams or major hold ups but can usually make it from Dural to the city in 90mins..with free parking …but then not everyone can ride a bike that far in that time…pity really as the more motorists getting onto bikes the more room for the really needy.
Cyclist | Sydney – November 30, 2011, 11:58AM
@Scoby – November 30, 2011, 11:52AM It’s a speed limit, not a speed requirement. It’s made worse by single occupant vehicles not by someone going 5 or 10km/h below the posted speed limit.It’s made worse by impatient drivers that block intersections.It’s made worse by State Governments that do not provide adequate transport infrastructure – and no, we do not need more roads.
Sean | Sydney – November 30, 2011, 12:00PM
More fuel = more tax excise and more gst revenue for the govt’s. They dont care how much time we spend in traffic because it fills the coffers up every day. Why would they provide better transport options that cuts off this tap of money from petrol use. Likewise the money they get from car rego and insurance is another reason they want us all in cars instead of trains and buses.
Luke – November 30, 2011, 12:05PM
In other breaking news, water is wet.
newsub2 – November 30, 2011, 12:04PM
An example of utter stupidity is how CBA were permitted to build their new campus style headquarters adjacent to Harbour Street/Western distributor freeway.
Instead of traffic flowing smoothly around Darling Harbour to the Western distributor, and north over the bridge, you now have to stop at pedestrian lights that are only 30 metres from the traffic lights, and of course they are not synchronised.
Such a little thing creates such a big log jam. It’s stupid. They should now change the street name from Western Distributor Freeway, to just Western…because it’s no longer either a Distributor, or a Freeway. who approves these obviously ridiculous plans???
Jam | Sydney – November 30, 2011, 12:05PM
Fairlight to Neutral Bay today. Approximately 9 kilometres in 55 minutes. Sydney traffic and roads, absolutely ridiculous. Fact is they are going to continue to get worse !! Local goverment – what a Joke
AP | Manly – November 30, 2011, 12:04PM
No scoby, it isn’t made worse by people driving slowly. People need to slow down more if anything, and they need to do it without impatient twits overtaking unsafely at the first opportunity. the speed limit is just that – the absolute limit of how fast you should ever go. you are suppose to modify your speed in the wet and the dark.
Sammy01 – November 30, 2011, 12:03PM
1. Edinburgh International Festival, Scotland
This event’s all about atmosphere and setting. It comes at the climax of the International Festival, which every summer transforms the city into one big theatre, with an audience by turns enchanted, exhausted and sozzled. With Edinburgh Castle looking down from its volcanic perch at the Georgian townhouses and Gothic closes, the spectacle and the feeling of the festival’s final moments are always going to sweep you away. the display is staged in Princes Street Garden and held to music from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. the concert lasts for about an hour.
2. New Year’s Eve, Sydney, Australia
It seems like the whole city turns out for this one, spilling into parks, onto rooftops and down to the harbourside. There’s pre-show entertainment galore, but everyone’s really just waiting to see what ‘bridge effect’ the pyrotechnics will come up with to light up the Harbour Bridge. After a much-adored, much-remembered millennium display and the 2000 Olympics, the bar is high. But whatever comes, it always looks good reflected in the waters of Sydney’s photogenic harbour and in the pearly white flanks of the Opera House. there are two waves of fireworks, the big one at 9pm and a smaller one at midnight.
3. Feast of the Redeemer, Venice, Italy
Firework light flickering in the water between illuminated gondolas and behind the city’s famous spires, domes and bell towers — sublime. and this is no flash-in-the-pan display: the fireworks go on for an hour. considering they’re to celebrate the salvation of the city by Christ (during the dreadful time of the 16th-century plague that wiped out a third of the city’s population), you’d expect something out of the ordinary. as opposed to Carnivale, which is a bit of a tourist circus, this is a genuinely local festival, with Venetians decorating their houses and turning out in force for the fireworks.
4. Old Year’s Eve, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Dutch have it right when it comes to New Year’s Eve. Firstly, far more appropriately and neatly, they call it Oudejaarsdag (Old Year’s Day) or Oudejaarsavond (Old Year’s Eve), or sometimes even Oude en Nieuw (Old and New). and none of that messy ‘I’ll see you on New Year’s Eve Day…’ Secondly, they take it as an excuse to crack out the crackers, big time. Amsterdam is the epicentre of the parties, with its famous clubs gearing up for a monumental night, but the firework scene is largely a street-based thing, with everyone joining in.
5. Macy’s 4th of July display, New York, USA
No one goes crazy for fireworks like the USA on the 4th of July, and no one goes crazy for the 4th of July like the New York department store Macy’s, which stages America’s biggest Independence Day display. six barges line up to detonate the mother of all 4th celebrations, featuring the trademark Macy’s golden mile, a cascade of sparks stretching for a mile across the river. the display, which is more about size than duration (it usually clocks in at not much over a half-hour) is accompanied by performances from A-list music stars.
Pooram is the elephant procession to end all elephant processions, held in Kerala’s festival hot spot, and it ends with a jumbo-sized fireworks display that lasts up to four hours. while you’re waiting for the show you’ll be entertained by the parade, in which two teams of beautifully caparisoned elephants face off across the temple grounds. on each elephant’s back a man holds a parasol taller than the elephant itself, while another waves a yak-tail fan like a feather boa. as the temple orchestra plays, the parasols are exchanged among the elephants’ riders. the drumming goes on all day.
7. Bonfire Night, London, England
This is fireworks with a history, and a rather nasty history at that. Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, held on November 5, commemorates the foiling of the gunpowder plot in 1605. Fawkes and a group of Catholic conspirators had planned to assassinate King James; Fawkes was discovered with explosives under Westminster palace, and the crisis was averted. on Bonfire Night the hapless Fawkes is burnt in effigy all over England to the accompaniment of thousands of backyard and large-scale fireworks displays. It used to be a children’s festival, but in these more-careful times it’s the adults who set the fuses.
8. Chinese New Year, Shanghai, China
There’s just something about spending Chinese New Year — observed around the world in various Chinatowns — in a real Chinese city, and Shanghai has one of the best celebrations. It’s essentially an occasion for family and friends more than tourists, but if you’re hungry for fireworks you won’t be disappointed. There’s an explosion of them at midnight to welcome in the New Year and ward off bad spirits, and then a barrage of firecrackers on the fifth day of the New Year to herald the arrival of the God of Wealth. the New Year follows the lunar calendar, and falls somewhere in January or February.
9. International Fireworks Festival, Montréal, Canada
Summer is fireworks season in Montréal. every Wednesday and Saturday night from June through August, crowds pack La Ronde, the city’s amusement park, to watch the cream of the profession duke it out in 30-minute musical sets. This is no case of just throwing your biggest and brightest bangers up in the air: the sets must be intricately choreographed and in harmony with the music. That’s not to say you won’t see some spectacular fusillades and sheer show-offy magic. the pyrotechnicians are playing to a highly educated audience, and this is the biggest fireworks festival on earth, so they crack out their best.
10. Yamayaki, Nara, Japan
This whiz-bang display on Nara’s Mt Wakakusa owes its existence to a centuries-old Buddhist feud. there used to be two rival temples on this mountain, and mediation between the monks went so badly that the 342m mountain ended up being torched. Today, in commemoration, monks light sacred fire at the Kasuga Shrine, carry it to the mountain, and set it ablaze. It generally burns for a half-hour or so, followed by fireworks as only the Japanese can do them. the best viewing spot is Nara Park, on the east side of the city; arrive early to get a good position.
The Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour always guarantees a great day out and hours of fun for kids of all ages. You’ll find the world’s largest collection of all-Aussie aquatic animals, including sharks, penguins, giant rays, tropical fish, turtles, dugongs, crocodiles, platypus, sea dragons and more. Featuring three oceanariums, 90 tanks and over 12,000 different animals and a daily activity schedule including penguin feeding. You’ll also find a good cafe, and an excellent gift shop. For full details of what’s on when you visit see the Sydney Aquarium Website.
Ellaslist Opinion: Sydney Aquarium is excellent for mums and bubs, all areas are easily accessed with a pram and even the tiniest baby enjoys gazing at the creatures behind the glass. Toddlers have plenty of room to run and explore (especially on weekdays) and pre-schoolers and up love trying to find Nemo and discovering other fish and sea creatures they recognise. An annual pass offers great value-at $90, it pays for itself in less then 3 visits and includes yearly entry to some other great family destinations. Beware of all the merchandise-easy to spend a fortune on your way out but the main gift shop does stock some very good quality sea themed books and toys. Highly recommended for a great family outing, especially on a rainy day!
Admission: Adult $35.00 Child (3+) $18.00. Annual Pass (including entry to Wildlife World, Sydney Tower and Manly Oceanworld) Adult $90.00, Child $63.00.
Facilities: There are baby change facilities at Sydney Aquarium and all areas are accessible with a pram. there is an onsite café-fine for the basics but they don’t offer great deal of healthy options for kids.
Getting there: The Aquarium is a 5–10 minute walk from CBD down Market St,
Monorail: Disembark the monorail at Darling Park station, Light Rail: Disembark the light rail at either the Convention or Pyrmont Bay stations, Train: A short walk from Town Hall station Ferry: Disembark at Aquarium Pier Bus: Sydney Explorer bus stop no 24. Discounted parking available at 3 Secure Parking Stations in the area.
We realize there's only so much time one can spend in a day watching new trailers, viral video clips, and shaky cell phone footage of people arguing on live television. this is why every day the Atlantic Wire highlights the videos that truly earn your five minutes (or less) of attention.
Critics got their first look War Horse over the weekend, Steven Spielberg's non-Tintin Christmas movie. the director also sat down with Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly for an interview at Lincoln Center that was live-streamed into screenings across the country. our takeaway from the siz-minute highlight reel: Spielberg really, really wants to win another Oscar. and he's willing to note that his boy-and-his-horse movie is "really about connections" to do it. [MSN via IndieWire]
despite being a quasi-sequel to the Firm, NBC's upcoming series based on the Firm is still just called the Firm, which seems likely to confuse people who don't remember the 20-year-old John Grisham novel or 18-year-old Sydney Pollack film. Did either make enough of a cultural impact to justify the show's new promo spot, in which Josh Lucas, gamely trying to fill Tom Cruise's panicky shoes, screams "It's happening again!" into a phone? the kids will probably just think he's talking about Poseidon. [NBC]
back for more: Boxer Danny Green (L) (with former Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett) aboard the super maxi Investec Loyal outside Sydney Heads soon after the start of 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Picture: Brett Costello Source: The Daily Telegraph
NO man has ever scared Danny Green in a boxing ring but, outside of it, a woman has – Mother Nature.
The 38-year-old, chasing the WBC world cruiserweight title in his home town of Perth next Wednesday, has admitted he was scared during his first Sydney to Hobart yacht race two years ago.
Green, who was given a relatively trouble-free introduction to the race, is back again to confront his biggest fear of being on the ocean and out of sight of land.
He admitted he thought he was going to die during his first foray as the yacht he was on bucked beneath his feet.
"nothing will ever erase the memory of that first night," said Green, part of the crew on Loyal, which is racing to help raise money for charity.
"I nearly fell off and I though, ‘I’m going to die’. give me a fight any day."
But he said he was only back on land a few days before he felt the lure of the ocean again.
"a couple of days after I realised it was such good fun," he said. "The camaraderie from team members, the blokes on the boat, made it too enticing to not do it again.
"I learned sailing, particulary the Sydney to Hobart is a tough gig. It’s is up and down, its rough and its tough.
"I’ve always had respect for sailors because I’ve always been afraid of it, to be stuck on an ocean. The work they do, it’s hard"
Green will be joined by numerous other sporting celebrities for the 628 nautical mile race to Hobart, including rugby pair Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns.
A fleet of around 90 yachts is expected on the Boxing day startline with Green’s ride and fellow 100-footer Wild Oats the favourites for line honours.
Wild Oats will scatter the ashes of helicopter pilot Gary Ticehurst during the race in memory of the man who died with his ABC colleague, journalist Paul Lockyer and cameraman John Bean, in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
Mark Nolan / Getty Images
A train passes by people gathered on the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Oct. 10, 2010. Traffic on the bridge was closed so more than 7,000 people could pack on to the world’s widest bridge to enjoy a picnic breakfast.
By Beth Collins, Budget Travel
Too often, man-made structures mar the landscape around them. A factory cuts a harsh silhouette against a once-picturesque riverbank; a gaudy hotel sprawls onto an otherwise pristine beach. But somehow, bridges do the opposite. Instead of detracting from the view, they enhance it. A valley that you might have overlooked on its own is suddenly breathtaking with a gleaming white bridge spanning it; an uninspiring river becomes grand when traversed by an elegant steel structure. Add to that the engineering prowess that goes into building them, and bridges become destinations in and of themselves. We’ve rounded up 10 of the most remarkable examples here, along with insider tips on how best to experience them.
Tallest: Millau Viaduct, FranceNot long ago, Millau — a provincial town set between two limestone plateaus in the South of France — was known for little more than its traffic jams. Every July and August, the village would become jammed with travelers en route to their summer vacations in Spain. But thanks to the Millau Viaduct, the town is now home to one of the country’s major tourist attractions. Seventeen years in the making, from the first sketches in 1987 to the final touches in 2004, the Millau Viaduct is an architectural feat in more ways than one. Sure, it is held up by the highest pylons in the world (803 feet high) and has the highest road-bridge deck in Europe (886 feet). But, most importantly, it reaches 1,125 feet at its highest point, making it the tallest bridge in the world (for reference, New York’s Chrysler Building is only 1,046 feet tall). Impressive stats, to be sure, but it’s the bridge’s visual effect that has the most impact. Gleaming white and ultra-sleek, it cuts a striking figure against the green valley below and the blue skies above.
Best vantage point: Millau Viaduct is closed to pedestrians, but if you’re a runner you can sign up for La Course du Viaduc de Millau, a 14-mile race that crosses the bridge. Barring that, hop in a car. The bridge was designed with a slight curve, so you can see it in its entirety just before you cross over. course-viaducdemillau.org.
Widest: Sydney Harbour Bridge, AustraliaMeasuring 160 feet across, this suspension bridge has room for eight lanes of traffic, two railroad tracks, a pedestrian walkway and a bicycle path. A bit much? Not when you consider that the bridge connects Sydney’s business district with the residential North Shore, making it the primary route for the city’s commuters. A bridge built to accommodate such volume would seem a modern-day creation, but Sydney Harbour Bridge opened back in 1932 — it will celebrate its 80th birthday in 2012.
Best vantage point: on the walkway at the eastern side of the bridge, you’ll find the entrance to the Pylon Lookout, a tower with some of the best views of Sydney and the harbor. as you climb the 200 stairs to the top, stop on each of the three levels to check out the exhibits on the history of the bridge. pylonlookout.com.au, $11.
Longest: Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, ChinaWhen it comes to bridges, China doesn’t mess around — the country is home to 11 of the world’s 15 longest. Three of the top five bridges are part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, a $33 billion project that will nearly double the capacity of the route to 80 million annual passengers. Opened to the public in June 2011, the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge ranks as the world’s longest. it stretches an astonishing 102.4 miles — that’s longer than the distance between New York City and Philadelphia!
Best vantage point: this is a railroad bridge, so the only way to experience it is by hopping aboard the train. Thankfully, the high-speed rail travels up to 186 mph, cutting what used to be a 10-hour trip to a much more manageable five hours. trains.china.org.cn, from $89 one way.
Most traffic: George Washington Bridge, New YorkLast year, 51 million cars, buses and trucks traveled eastbound across the George Washington Bridge, which connects Manhattan and New Jersey over the Hudson River. Every one of New York City’s 8 million residents would have to cross the bridge over six times to hit that number. Fortunately, the bridge is built to accommodate this kind of record-breaking activity, with a total of 14 lanes of traffic (eight on the upper level, six on the lower level). of course, this statistic only takes into account motorized vehicle traffic. if you count absolutely everything that crosses the bridge, the unofficial winner is the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, India. The eight-laner is traversed by an estimated 80,000 vehicles, as many as 1 million pedestrians — and countless cows each day.
Best vantage point: there are additional lanes on either side of the George Washington Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, but that puts you too close to the action to get a good view. Instead, take the Circle Line’s Full Island Cruise, a three-hour tour that circles the entire island of Manhattan and passes under seven bridges, including the George Washington Bridge. Boats leave throughout the day, but hold out for an evening departure so you’ll be able to see the bridge lit up against the night sky. circleline42.com, $36.
Longest suspension: Akashi Kaikyo (or Pearl) Bridge, JapanImagine an iconic bridge (the Golden Gate, for example), and chances are you’ve thought of a suspension bridge. these elegant structures are formed by literally “suspending” the road deck from steel cables strung between towers. this style will never measure as far as other types — viaducts like the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge are supported from below by pylons and can thus stretch as long as needed — but suspension bridges rank among the lightest, strongest, and most beautiful bridges in the world. At nearly four times the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, Japan’s Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (also known as the Pearl Bridge) is the clear winner in this category. With three connected spans — two at 3,150 feet and one at 6,532 feet — the Pearl stretches a total of 12,831 feet across the Akashi Strait from the cosmopolitan port city of Kobe to Awaji Island (which, not coincidentally, is the hub of Japan’s pearl industry). Japan gets hit with extreme weather conditions, and this bridge, completed in 1998, was built to withstand them all, including winds up to 179 mph and earthquakes up to 8.5 on the Richter scale. But that doesn’t mean this bridge isn’t a beauty: in addition to its connection to the Japanese pearl industry, the bridge gets its nickname from the lights on its cables, which are said to resemble a strand of colorful pearls at night.
Best vantage point: From the Kobe side of the bridge, take an elevator to the Maiko Marine Promenade. The 984-foot tubular observation deck offers views of the strait, the bridge’s interior and Osaka Bay.
Most photographed: Golden Gate Bridge, CaliforniaWith its trademark “international orange” paint, its picturesque surroundings, and the daily rolling in of the morning fog, it should come as no surprise that the Golden Gate Bridge is said to be the most photographed in the world. David Crandall, assistant professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University, thinks the numbers back up this claim. in a recent study, he tracked text tags for nearly 35 million images on Flickr to determine which world sights were shot the most. While other bridges — namely London’s Tower Bridge, Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, and New York’s Brooklyn Bridge — were close runners-up, two simple facts gave the San Francisco structure a winning edge: geography and size. The City of Hills has so many vantage points — and the bridge is such a looming presence in the skyline — that the Golden Gate manages to sneak into scores of photos, even when it’s not the intended subject. trying to take a shot of the Presidio? The harbor? The city skyline? There’s a good chance the Golden Gate might make an appearance, whether as the main focal point or just a happy accident.
Best vantage point: At Kirby Cove, in the Marin headlands north of the city, you get the trifecta: a spectacular view, a healthy dose of nature and no crowds. to get there from Highway 101, take the last exit for Sausalito and follow Conzelman Road until you reach the parking area on the left. From there, walk down the steep dirt path lined with eucalyptus and cypress trees until you reach the cove.
Longest covered: Hartland Covered Bridge, New Brunswick, CanadaWhen the Canadian government was being wishy-washy about whether or not to build a bridge across the St. John River, a group of private citizens took matters into their own hands. They formed the Hartland Bridge Company and opened the 1,282-foot-long bridge in 1901. five years later, in what had to be a vindicating we-told-you-so moment, they sold it to the government, who took over all maintenance. though covered bridges are now seen as quaint and old-fashioned, the icon’s construction was not without its share of controversy. Shelter made sense in terms of weather — snow and ice are a sure thing throughout the winters here — but the public worried it would encourage risqué behavior among the town’s youth. in the end, it was covered, and perhaps their fears were warranted: Legend has it, men would train their horses to stop halfway across the bridge so they could sneak in a kiss before crossing over to the other side.
Best vantage point: There’s something about a covered bridge that demands you take it slow. rather than speed across in a car, take the walkway that was added in 1945.
Most bricks used to build a bridge: Goltzsch Valley Bridge, GermanyAt 1,860 feet long, or about one third of a mile, the Goltzsch Valley Bridge in the eastern German state of Saxony may seem like a minor player in the bridge world. But the length isn’t what sets it apart; it’s the material. At a time when most bridges were built with stone or metal, this one was built with bricks — 20 million of them. it would be an odd (and costly) choice of material in most places, but in this area of Saxony, where there were several large clay deposits, it was an economical one. in fact, it’s thanks to those same clay deposits that the second-largest brick bridge in the world, the Elster Valley Bridge, is also in Saxony; it’s a quaint counterpart, made with only 12 million bricks.
Best vantage point: take the autobahn to the town of Mylau, and follow the signs to the bridge from there. You’ll find a designated parking lot, but don’t stay there. Instead, take the path on the left-hand side just before the lot. it will lead you to a meadow, where you’ll get spectacular views of the bridge.
Longest footbridge: Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park, New YorkWhen this 6,767-foot-long steel cantilever railroad bridge opened in 1889 over the Hudson River, it ranked as the longest bridge in the world. it carried trains across the river for 85 years until a fire damaged the tracks in 1974, forcing it to close. Thirty-five years later, after several false starts at restoration, a nonprofit group called Walkway Over the Hudson reopened the bridge, this time as a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, in October 2009. now a state historic park, the Walkway Over the Hudson is the longest footbridge in the world, serving as a link between trails on both sides of the river for walkers, runners, cyclists and rollerbladers.
Best vantage point: in the fall, the leaves turn the banks of the Hudson into a collage of reds, oranges and yellows. Picnic on one of the tables at either end of the bridge before strolling across, giving yourself plenty of time to snap photos along the way. walkway.org.
Oldest: Caravan Bridge, TurkeyAt first glance, there’s nothing remarkable about this bridge. The arched stone slab straddling the River Meles, in Izmir, Turkey, extends only 42½ feet and is about as simple as they come. But it’s the age, not the physical aspects, of the Caravan that sets it apart. Built in 850 B.C., the bridge is 2,861 years old and has reportedly been crossed by the likes of Homer and Saint Paul. as impressive as some of the other bridges on this list are, it’s hard to imagine they’ll last even half that long.
Best vantage point: Located in old Izmir, the bridge is best reached by taxi. Simply ask your driver to take you to “Sarnic,” which is the Turkish name for the bridge. We recommend going during the afternoon, when the light is best for photography.
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Press Release – Royal Caribbean Cruises
Worried that summer will not arrive in time for the holiday period and already having fantasies about swaying palm trees and deserted island beaches? Royal Caribbean has two Hot Offers especially suited for desperate sun seekers – a 12 night South Pacific …November 24, 2011
Hot Offers for Holiday Sun Seekers
Worried that summer will not arrive in time for the holiday period and already having fantasies about swaying palm trees and deserted island beaches?
Royal Caribbean has two Hot Offers especially suited for desperate sun seekers – a 12 night South Pacific cruise departing from Sydney on January 22, 2012 on Rhapsody of the Seas, priced from $1539* per person, and cruising to a host of picturesque South Pacific destinations. Highlights of this cruise include port calls at Isle of Pines in new Caledonia, Suva in Fiji , Port Vila in Vanuatu and Lifou, in the Loyalty Islands.
Or choose a leisurely 14 night Sydney to Singapore cruise, departing on Rhapsody of the Seas from Sydney on February 16, priced from $1574. There is plenty of time to soak up sun while relaxing at sea, and also plenty of time for shore expeditions at ports of call, including Brisbane, Airlie Beach and Cairns in Queensland, Darwin in Northern Territory, at Benoa in Bali before arriving in Singapore on March 1, 2012.
*Prices in NZ$ are per person, cruise only, based on double occupancy inclusive of all fees, taxes, onboard gratuities, and are based on the lowest grader of interior occupancy.
About Rhapsody of the Seas
Rhapsody of the Seas boasts multi-deck, dazzling glass windows, affording guests incredible views of the magnificent scenery as it unfolds. Guests can race to the top of the ship’s iconic rock-climbing walls for an even more thrilling view or enjoy a variety of rejuvenating spa treatments in the Day Spa. Younger guests will be kept entertained with the cruise line’s award-winning Adventure Ocean and teen programmes. In the evenings, guests can enjoy Royal Caribbean Productions’ award-winning Broadway-style musical revues, and recount the day’s experiences in multiple onboard bars and lounges over cocktails.
Royal Caribbean Cruises new Zealand commenced operation in April 2010 as the new Zealand arm of global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. In new Zealand the company operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises. the global company has a combined total of 40 ships in service and one under construction. It also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Dubai, Europe and South America. for additional information or to make reservations, contact your travel agent, call 0800 102 123 or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.nz.