Ben Ringel - Reunion-Adrenaline_Rush

Reunion – the adrenaline rush

It has it all – nature has given this island volcanoes, mountains, tropical forests, long beaches… and as Ben Ringel experienced, here the word vacation means all but lying on the beach.

Resembling a rock immersed in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is unique in many ways and it is OK to say that it is one of the most intriguing places in the world. At first glance Reunion resembles a part of France, which is miraculously teleported in the tropics. But behind the original Gallic charm is shining an ornament of all other influences, primarily Indian, African and Chinese. Far less known than the neighboring Mauritius, this volcanic island is differentiated by its geography – adds Ben Ringel.

In a short period, the landscape of lava field changes in wonderful countryside, and rugged mountain ranges suddenly transform themselves into a welcoming sandy beaches. One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Piton de la Fournaise, is located right here on the island, along with a unique natural amphitheater. Nature itself took care of Reunion so the island can offer everything: a quiet holiday at the beach, but also great waves for surfing, mountain peaks for paragliding, trekking or just for hiking, river rafting…

However, not everything in life can be found in the nature, landscapes and adrenaline. The influence of French, Creole, Indian and Chinese cultures here have created a unique architectural style, music, art, language and values ​​in every sense of the word. Reunion is a tropical island, but not in the usual “to soak up the sun in the gardens of Eden” experience. That’s why it should not be compared with Mauritius or the Seychelles. Actually, it should not be compared it with anything. It should be, if you believe the experienced world travelers like Ben Ringel, experienced with all of its beauty and diversity.

For all those of you who cannot imagine your vacation without adrenaline rush and a wind in your hair, Reunion is the right choice. Walking, hiking, paragliding, canoeing, rafting, scuba diving, surfing, hang-gliding surfing, fishing, and sky diving… the possibilities are endless.

Ben Ringel - venice

Venice

Venice is one of the most exceptional cities in the world, says Ben Ringel. In 1364, Petrarca considered that Venice possessed “abundance of gold, but even more glory.” Ernst Moritz Arndt, on the other side, looked down on its “disgusting views and smell.” In 1844, Charles Dickens described Venice by saying that “Venice outshines every hidden corner in the world.” In 1913, Thomas Mann called Venice the most “amazing” city in the world.”

The early beginnings of the city are set back in the V century, when consisted of 117 islands and islets. In that period, the Huns persecuted the residents of Aquileia to some of those islands. Eventually, the most famous commercial place was born and was dedicated to St. Mark. Constantinople was conquered in 1204. In the XV century, Venice had more than two hundred thousand residents; she became the most famous world trade center and had the largest port in the world. There were some luxurious buildings that had oriental appearance. In addition, some of the palaces were decorated by artists such as Tintoretto, Veronese etc.

It is a city who possesses 150 channels and 400 bridges. Those were his glory days. The fall of Venice started when Turks took over Constantinople from Venetians. It was destructive when Portuguese discovered how to go to India by sea. The, power and wealth started to disappear, and Venice was turning into a dying city. Nowadays, Venice still looks like back in those days of prosperity. Many tourists think that Venice had turned into a stone monument that is worthy seen. Mark’s Square is particularly attractive, with its 175m long and luxurious space, church pillars and mosaics, 99m high Campanile, and above all, tourists are attracted to the canal system Grande with the length of nearly 4 km.  The canal forms the letter S. Each visitor never leaves Venice without a romantic gondola ride along the Grand Canal.

Theodor Fontana, who visited Venice in 1874, found the city magical and poetic, but it is also considered that it was dirty, because of the beautiful girls who never washed their neck. Venice’s magnificent past, speaks about its historical value, says Benjamin Ringel.

 

Ben Ringel - Singapore – The Lion Heart Metropolis

Singapore – The Lion Heart Metropolis

Singapore is located in the south of the Malay Peninsula, between Malaysia and Indonesia and is considered as a city-state, says Ben Ringel. Today Singapore is believed to be the cleanest city in the world. Its name literally means “lion’s city” and that is a “nickname” that perhaps in best way defines the soul of this metropolis located in Southeast Asia.

Cultural heart of the city is Chinatown, a place which is intertwined with many mystical Chinese temples and bustle of the business world on the streets, while the Little India and Arab Street are fascinated by the colorful street shops. During a visit to the most famous places in the city, which include Padang Square with its significant buildings built in the English colonial style, the old Chinese temple, Hindu temple Sri Mariamman, Mount Faber and the fabulous orchid garden, you will experience city’s lion strength at what is best known. Given that Singapore because of its location is blessed with high temperatures and plenty of sunshine hours during the entire year, this Asian tropical metropolis is a perfect place where you can start or complete your exotic Asian tour, finishes Benjamin Ringel.

BVen Ringel - Acropolis

Acropolis

Renovated or not, Athens still radiates some special charm that wins her over tens of thousands of tourists every year, says Ben Ringel. Street shops, wine taverns, souvenir shops and ancient monuments that fit with buildings whether new or old are some of the things that attract tourists from all over the world. Most of the attractions are easy to visit and are located the in strict central area of ​​the city, Acropolis.

Those who come to Athens for the first time the very first place they usually visit is the Acropolis, located high atop a flat rock overlooking the town. This is the place where Athens and classical Greek civilization began. Here are placed stunning temples, most of them dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athens.

The road to the central temple on Acropolis is a little bit steeper. Inside, to the right of the entrance is a located a small temple of Athena Nike, which has been reconstructed and renovated.

Acropolis includes four buildings:

Parthenon, the largest monument with Doric architecture. This building is in some ways a symbol of the entire Acropolis and Athens. You’ll have a fantastic view of Athens from there. The temple was built between 447 and 438 BC and complete in 432 BC. It features a mythological scene of the birth of Athens and the war between the gods of Athens and Poseidon over the name of the city.

Behind the Parthenon is another temple, Erehtion, an Ionic temple built in 420 BC, known by his stage fright with caryatids.

Propylaea was built between 437 and 432 BC. It represented the entrance gate to the Acropolis. The temple of Athena was built using white marble.

There is a museum on the Acropolis, where are exposed some of the items found on the Acropolis and its surroundings. Most of the artifacts from the Acropolis are now housed in the British Museum in London.

Walking is the best way to experience the atmosphere of Athens because the traffic is not that well organized, suggests Mr. Ringel.

Ben Ringel - Verona – The City of Eternal Love

Verona – the city of eternal love

Verona is a jewel of medieval architecture and art which, as Ben Ringel experienced, is one of many in Italy. And while these cities attract travelers from all over the world, most with their lavish buildings and tumultuous historical story, Verona has an extra advantage – it keeps the most beautiful and most tragic love of all time, the story of Romeo and Juliet.

William Shakespeare’s melodrama of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, which sacrificed themselves for their love lives and became a symbol of a tragic, but eternal love, each year are attracting more than three million visitors to Verona, which is after Venice the largest city in Italy’s northern province of Veneto.

The plot of its popular work, the most quoted writer of all time put in the 14th century in Siena. Many Italian and world historians did their best to find traces of the existence of Montague and Capulet families, but without results, adds Mr. Ringel. But that did not deter the sharp trading spirit of citizens of Verona which decided to be as it was written by the best writer and poet from Elizabethan England. Therefore, a ruined house, with balcony in the center of Verona was renovated and named “Juliet’s home”. On the wall was inserted a panel with Shakespeare’s famous verse and under the balcony was set a bronze statue of Juliet. From that spot, according to Shakespeare, in hot Verona nights Romeo was whispering love poems to Juliet, which wistfully watched him from the balcony… And then the government of Verona launched an engaging story, saying that girls need to touch Juliet’s right hand and think of a love wish, while guys touch the right breast of bronze statue. If a guy and a girl do this at a same time, it is believed that they will stay together forever. The fact that this story is “well received” is evidenced by the smoothness of both bronze parts from touching Juliet’s statue.

If touching and taking a picture with Juliet’s statue is free, entry into her house is not. It costs 12 euros and going out on the balcony is 10 euros extra. Anyway, tourists from all over the world are waiting patiently to do this. But, thanks to them, the legend of eternal love lives.

Follow Ben Ringel as next week he will reveal how much will cost a weeding on Juliet’s balcony.

Ben Ringel - Aqaba

Aqaba – Drinking tea with the Bedouins

The Kingdom of Jordan is considered as one of the most developed and most modern Arab states, says Ben Ringel. It was founded in the second half of the 20th century, but its history is quite rich and long. Its remarkable strategic position in the ancient times was attractive to the empire of Persia, Babylon and Assyria. Next on its territory were several Nabataeans’ (nomadic Arab tribes) kingdoms.

During a long period these vastness were ruled by the Greeks and Romans, leaving behind impressive monuments that have survived till today. This magical kingdom is one of the most interesting tourist destinations because visitors are promised an unforgettable adventure: enjoying the shores of the Dead and Red Seas and visiting exciting places that have arisen from the vibrant culture and religion.

Try to imagine a destination where you can enjoy the long sunny days, with a cool breeze and enchanting atmosphere – Aqaba is just that. This coastal city is blessed with wonderful climate throughout the whole year, hot and windy during the summer and pleasant in winter. Virtually every activity tourists could wished vacationing here is available – from sailing and diving to camel safaris in Vadi Ram or sightseeing around world famous monument in Petra. Lovers of water sports will find in Aqaba spectacular coral reefs and countless colorful species of fish, especially in Aqaba’s marine park, the most popular site for diving in this area. For those who want to admire marine’s living world without diving, there is Aqaba Aquarium, where one can enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of coral reefs in the bay of Aqaba. Tourist who come here also have a unique opportunity to try the local beer, wine, or one of the local liquors, and should not miss the ritual of drinking mint tea with Bedouins from Vadi Rum, finishes Ben Ringel.

Ben Ringel - Golden Gate - The pride of San Francisco

Golden Gate – The pride of San Francisco

“Golden Gate Bridge” was built in 4 years of great work that cost over 35 million dollars. This bridge is an attraction for all visitors and tourists says Ben Ringel. The bridge was officially opened on 28 May 1937th year at noon. It was opened by the president Franklin Roosevelt.

The length of this giant is 2727 meters, while the height of the towers is 227 meters. The creator of the bridge is Joseph B. Strauss. He was born in 1870th in Cincinnati, Ohio, just ten years before the Civil War. He grew up in the artistic family and he loved the poetry. He wanted to be a pianist as his mother or painter and writer as his father. Although he had not talent for any type of art, he will remain known as the creator of one of the most beautiful works of art in the world, a bridge in San Francisco.

The construction of the bridge started in 1933rd and it lasted for four years. Strauss was the responsible engineer of the project. Due to the many physical and mental effort that accompanied him during the operation, only a year after the opening of the bridge he died.

There are no reliable data for that how many people worked on the construction of the bridge. The bridge was built by ten different construction companies and undertakers. These companies are not existing anymore, so it is impossible to find their books and records of employees. During the construction died eleven people. By February, 1937th “only” one man died, but after that, because of the pressure to complete construction as soon as possible died ten workers.

The color of Golden Gate Bridge is orange and as Mr. Ringel is saying it is for three reasons: it is a warm color; best fits with the environment and it is visible for all ships.

This bridge is also important place for a lot of scenes in a few movies: The Core (2003), Boys and Girls (2000), Interview with a Vampire (1994), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), A View to a Kill (1985), Vertigo (1958), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) etc.

Ben Ringel - Brittany – The place of picturesque landscapes

Brittany – The place of picturesque landscapes

Art lovers and travelers should start this summer by the footsteps of famous painters and visit Brittany, a peninsula in the northwest of France. It is placed between the English Channel (La Manche) to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south.

This part of France certainly will enchant every tourist with its wild coastline, golden beaches and idyllic fishing villages says Ben Ringel.

Indeed, while walking through the picturesque landscapes of Brittany visitors are getting the impression that everything around them are paintings from Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso which lived and painted in Brittany. Delighted with the Brittany’s wealth of colors they found inspiration for some of their famous paintings with purple flowers, green grass, orange skys, blue sea, red and white lighthouses and blue, green and yellow boats.

That’s why, when art lovers from all around the world are in Brittany must visit the small Breton village of Pont Aven, with only 1,500 inhabitants. This place is located near to the flowing of river Aven in the Atlantic Ocean.

In the mid 19th  century, in this vividly place during summer, painters began arriving, eager to at least briefly, escape from the city bustle. The first art colony at Port Avenue was founded in 1850, and in 1886 here arrived Paul Gauguin and made this little place famous. Since then Pont Aven is unavoidable tourist destination in Brittany. The bravest visitors of Port Avena are all-day walking trough 14 km long trail which is on the right side of the Aven River. On that way they are enjoing in the same regions, places and buildings that Gauguin drew in his paintings: Castle Enan and the vibrant small ports: Roz Braz, Belon and Kerdrik. This enjoyment can be felt even by those who do not like long walks, says Mr. Ringel. In Port Avenue there is an offer for boat rides trough Aven and Belon rivers along the trail which once was ranged by Gauguin.

Ben Ringel - Rogaska Slatina

Rogaska Slatina – water, wine and fairy tales

The story of Rogaska Slatina begins with crossing the river Sutla which is the border between Slovenia and Croatia says Ben Ringel. Every visitor who will cross the river will find himself in the land of fairy tales. There are the villas with their rune that are placed near to the Olimija, the most luxury spa in Slovenia.

In front of the door of Rogaska Slatina is Pegasus, which is greeting the visitors. The legend says that the story of the healing water in this region begins with the legend of Pegasus, the mythological winged horse, which when strikes with the hoof from the ground the water is springing out.

By order of the god Apollo, Pegasus struck with its hoof near to the Rogatec and thus created Rogaski source. The healing water rises 550 meters deep from the ground and it is well-known from its large amount of magnesium, which is involved in as many as 300 processes in the human body. Miraculous water from Rogaska Slatina was analyzed by the alchemists in 16th century, and in 17th century Peter Zrinski used this water for his healing. The huge popularity of this place in the early 19th century brings Count Atems, whose bust is placed in this town too.

Ben Ringel - Sri Lanka

The Beauty within Sri Lanka

The Island which is called “The pearl in the Indian Ocean”, Sri Lanka, with its magnificent beauty, rich history and colorful holidays attracts many tourists from all around the world, begins Ben Ringel.

The famous Marco Polo said that Sri Lanka is the pearl of the Indian Ocean and one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The luxuriant tropical beauty, cultural and historical monuments of the past, colorful holidays and beautiful sandy beaches are real treat for the eyes, soul and body.

Sri Lanka has merged the influences from the two ancient empires – India and China. Its charm has attracted European invaders. The Portuguese, British and Dutch colonialists have fought for its territory and behind them have left some remarkable monuments.

Everyone’s visit of Sri Lanka should start by visiting its largest city Colombo, which acts as it is have been trapped between the modern way of living and the traditions of old kingdom. In the center of the city is placed a replica of the World Trade Center which was destroyed in New York, and on the streets around it are the magnificent buildings dating from 18th and 19th century, which were built by the colonialists. There are many Buddhist shrines and Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian churches too.

Near to the Combo city is located Kandy city. Here are found many ancient buildings, temples and monasteries which are fully preserved and due to this, the city is added to UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. The most famous sacred Buddhist temple is Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic where Buddha’s tooth is kept. Dambulla City is famous Buddhist holy place too. Here can also be seen and the famous cave temples which are characterized by very valuable statues of Buddha and its beautiful frescoes.

West of Colombo is located Sigiriya City, also known as the Lion’s rock. On this huge rock of volcanic origin, in the fifth century, King Kashyapa built a palace, which was later converted into a Buddhist monastery, absolutely a site worth visiting, finishes Ben Ringel.

Ben Ringel - Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic – The finest beaches, cigars and rum

Dominican Republic shares Hispaniola Island with its less developed “cousin” Republic of Haiti. Its residents enjoy the eternal summer on the sugary white beaches shaded in palm trees and with crystal clear waters in full of exotic fish.

Small fishing villages attract both locals and tourists, begins Ben Ringel, while many exclusive resorts are suited for travelers with children and couples in love. Spicy food and relaxed lifestyle make the Dominican Republic be every year visited by more and more visitors.

White sandy beaches and coconut palms make Punta Cana a haven for those who love to lie below the sun. Scuba divers can explore the sea floor full of old wrecks of sunken ships in the transparent waters of Bayahib). The lively Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean, whose cobbles lead you to the brilliant museums and buildings. Away from the city you can enjoy the thunderous waterfall Salto de Aguas Blancas, or observe marine animals in Manati Park.

Here you will find perhaps the finest cigars in the world and enjoy the famous Dominican rum. In Santo Domingo, you can visit the stalls of Model El Mercado, a crowded market of local handicrafts and spices. One should also pay a visit to Harrison’s place in Puerto Plata that sells amber jewelry already worn by celebrities like Keith Richards and Madonna.

Discos and restaurants in the center, as well as hotels along the beaches are enough to give you an unforgettable time. You can also dance to the rhythms of the DJ’s in Santo Domingo, or sip an exotic cocktail at the beach club Cabrera or Barahona. The casinos in major cities and resorts offer fun and drinks throughout the whole night, finishes Ben Ringel.

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