Tuesday, October 26, 2010

World's Scariest Bridges (part 3)

From sky-high suspension bridges to dilapidated rope bridges, these crossings aren’t for the meek.

20. Millau Viaduct, France

Looking down on clouds is to be expected from an airplane, but it’s a bit more unsettling in a car. Yet that’s often the sight when driving across this bridge, which is taller than the Eiffel Tower at its highest point. In fact, when it opened in 2004, it claimed the title of the world’s tallest vehicular bridge.
Where: Crossing the Tarn Valley, near Millau in southern France.
Stats: Less than 2 miles long; 1,125 feet from the valley floor to the peak of its tallest mast.

21. Musou Tsuribashi, Japan

Bring a balancing pole—the only railings you’ll find on this 50-year-old bridge are two thin barely-there ropes. That’s a bit disconcerting considering the dizzying heights reached by this bridge, especially when the winds begin to howl over the forest below.
Where: In the remote wilderness of the Southern Japanese Alps (also known as the Akaishi Mountains).
Stats: The bridge is so remote that not much is known about its length and height.

22. Vitim River Bridge, Russia

Surviving this bridge crossing is considered such an accomplishment that the 34 people who have done it created their own Facebook page. The old railway bridge is only 50 feet above the water, so what makes it scary? Well, it’s barely wide enough for one car, and it’s iced over for much of the year—oh, and did we mention that there are no railings to catch your fall?
Where: Crossing over the Vitim River, a tributary of the Lena River, in eastern Siberia.
Stats: 1,870 feet long and 50 feet above the water.

23. Road Between Tierradentro to La Plata, Colombia

This mountain road is littered with simple bamboo bridges that wobble violently as you cross, with water rushing mere inches below you. The slickness caused by frequent torrential rainfall increases the danger quotient even more. Daredevils brave this road to see the massive underground tombs in the National Archeological Park of Tierradentro. A better option, perhaps? Taking the bus.
Where: On the road between Tierradentro to La Plata in southern Colombia.
Stats: Because it’s so remote, there are no official stats.

24. Volgograd Bridge, Russia

This bridge is practically brand new, but it’s amazing it hasn’t been shut down. During a violent storm in May 2010, the roadway began to shake and oscillate, in a similar manner to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before it collapsed in 1940. The rippling roadway caused cars to be thrown into the air and careen into the opposite lane. Authorities blamed it on an earthquake, but seismologists disagreed. The safety investigation is ongoing, even as cars still drive across.
Where: In the southern Russian city of Volgograd, crossing the Volga River.
Stats: 4.5 miles long

25. Quepos Bridge, Costa Rica

Known as the “Oh My God” bridge, this crossing is so narrow that cars can travel only in one direction. After waiting your turn, you pile onto the bridge with many other cars (including heavy trucks). The loose slats of the roadway clank loudly while the bridge shakes under the weight of all the vehicles.
Where: On the road from Jaco to Quepos on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast.
Stats: No official stats.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rangali Island, The Maldives

A perfect vision of paradise, where the tropical splendour of the Maldives combines with world-class hospitality. This is a sybaritic combination of three distinct resort experiences on two islands, surrounded by a coral reef and lagoon. Winner of 'Best Hotel in the World' at the 2005 Sunday Times Travel Awards, the resort is renowned for its attentive service and fine cuisine, along with an abundance of leisure facilities. Beaches of soft white sand fringed by palms lead to the Indian Ocean. Outstanding diving in the world's most remarkable waters is on offer, as well as a wealth of other sports.
Indulge yourself in the two spas, fine food and water sports. Gourmets will love discovering the fine cuisine, which ranges from seafood specialties, Japanese, international and spa cuisine as well as memorable gourmet food and wine dinners in the resort’s extensive wine cellar. Remember to take time out to explore some of the resort’s 5000 bottles of wine, which are lovingly selected by the resident Sommelier.


Discover barefoot luxury at the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, set on two private islands among miles of idyllic white-sand beach and unspoilt reef. Arrive at our Maldives hotel in style in a seaplane over the lagoon, dine in the world's first all-glass, undersea restaurant and indulge in luxurious spa therapies.
Sited in a picturesque corner of the Maldives, our luxury Maldives resort is spread across two islands, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and lagoon. Twice voted 'Best Hotel in the World' and several times 'Best Resort', our Maldives hotel boasts 50 luxurious water villas, 79 exotic beach villas and 21 fabulous spa water villas with private treatment rooms. Scattered in the tropical gardens on Rangalifinolhu Island, the elegant beach villas at our hotel in Maldives are just steps away from the beach. Stunning living areas are arranged around courtyards with a fountain, while huge outdoor garden-bathrooms offer a taste of the tropics, enormous glass doors substitute for walls and ingenious landscaping ensures total seclusion. Deluxe Beach Villas also have a private plunge pool and garden.
Rangali Island is home to 50 water villas of ever increasing degrees of luxury. The elegant villas set on stilts over the ocean offer sweeping views of turquoise surrounds complemented by iridescent sunsets. With ocean view baths, Philippe Starck fittings, private sun decks, espresso machines and Bulgari bathroom goodies, it is almost impossible to imagine anything more beautiful. Guests staying in our Maldives hotel's Superior and Deluxe Water Villas will love the Jacuzzi pool on the sun deck, while Premier Water Villas have an additional jacuzzi in the bathroom with in-built satellite TV. Two Sunset Water Villas stand in a secluded part of the lagoon and offer a private butler, glass-floored living room, rotating bed and ocean pool.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island can only be reached via seaplane from Male. Our reservations team will be in touch upon receiving a reservation to discuss and organise seaplane transfers and overnight accommodation options in Male if required.
A breathtaking 30-minute seaplane flight over the islands brings you from Male International Airport to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. The resort will automatically arrange seaplane transfers on receipt of your flight details. Transfers do not operate at night, so resort staff will arrange an overnight stay in Male (at an extra charge) for guests with early departures or late arrivals. The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort team collects guests at the airport and accompanies them by shuttle bus to the separate Seaplane Terminal where there is an exclusive Conrad lounge for guests.
Note: Seaplane transfer and Male accommodation are chargeable. The seaplane transfer is charged at US$420 per person return. Children aged between 2 and 12 receive a 50% discount.

Directions from Male International Airport

Distance from resort: 96 km. Flying time: 30 min. Directions: All guests are met by our representative at Male International Airport and transferred to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island on Hulhule Island by a 30-minute seaplane ride.

Transportation to and from the airport

The resort automatically arranges seaplane transfers on receipt of your flight details. These do not operate at night so resort staff will arrange an overnight stay in Male (at an extra charge) for guests with early departures or late arrivals. The resorts staff collects guests at the airport and accompanies them by shuttle bus to the separate Seaplane Terminal where there is a private Conrad lounge for guests.

What to do:

Discover Snorkeling
Anyone who has yet to experience snorkelling and does not want to pass up a great opportunity to discover the underwater world should not miss this excursion.

Snorkeling Hopping
A trip on the resort speedboat to the best snorkelling sites on the nearby coral reefs.

Snorkeling Safari
A tour of some of our favourite snorkelling sites to see turtles, sharks and possibly even a manta ray.

Sunrise Snorkeling Hopping
A very special trip. Head off by speedboat in the early morning and visit the open-water reefs of South Ari Atoll before experiencing the three best snorkelling venues, each with its own special characteristics: turtles, manta rays, coral and schools of colourful tropical fish.

Sunrise Snorkeling
The perfect trip for all snorkelling fanatics which uncovers the other side of life on the reef. The excursion departs Rangali on a dhoni when the first rays of light are touching the crystal clear water of the lagoon.

Dream Island Trip
This excursion follows in the footsteps of Robinson Crusoe with a visit to a nearby deserted island to enjoy a stroll along pristine white beaches or a snorkel among the myriad of fish on the reef, surfacing only for the specially prepared picnic lunch.

Picnic on Deserted Island
Spend half a day on our private island, relax on the beach, swim and work up an appetite for a picnic lunch served in the shade of a palm tree.

Island Hopping
This full-day trip is perfect for anyone wishing to discover the Maldives as it hops from one island to another by speedboat. The first stop is on a local village island for sightseeing, the second on a stunning deserted island where we will set up a picnic lunch, and then on the third island, a nearby resort, a choice of more snorkelling or just relaxation awaits.

Fishing Village
Visit a local fishing village for a glimpse of the Maldivian way of life. See the Mosque, the open-air children's primary school and the boat yard with fishing dhonies (local boats).

Mandhoo trip
Mandhoo is a local island close to the resort. Tour the village and then explore the resort's gardens, where trees, plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown, before trying fruit and coconut milk from the island's orchards, fresh from the trees.

Lucky Dolphin Trip
An excursion to spot the most amazing animals in the sea: the playful Spinner Dolphins who call the Indian Ocean their home.

Luxury Lucky Dolphin Cruise
A 90-minute sunset trip on board the resort's luxury cruiser, Rehendi, to discover the dolphin, the most amazing aquatic mammal.

Dhoni Sunset Cruise
The ultimate romantic cruise aboard the dhoni, leaving the island at sunset. Lay back and relax on the cushions spread out on the sundeck of the boat while sipping fresh coconut milk.

Luxury Sunset Cruise
Hop on the luxury cruiser Rehendi, leave the island late in the afternoon and enjoy the sunset while sipping champagne and nibbling canap├ęs.

Fishing (Sunrise, Sunset or Night Fishing)
At sunset or at night, take a dhoni boat to nearby reefs and go fishing in true Maldivian style using a hand-reel line.

Big Game Fishing
The fishing trip of a lifetime aboard our deep-sea fishing boat and fish for marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and many others.

Private Luxury Cruises by Rehendi
The resort's luxury cruiser offers an exquisite blend of comfort, elegance and special features, including comfortable cabins and a large living area. The boat can be booked for trips, excursions, dolphin cruises, private diving, or simply a pleasant afternoon under the Maldivian sun or romantic sunset cruise.

Private Cruises by Yacht
Explore the Indian Ocean on the Rangali Rani, our traditional Turkish yacht with carved wooden interiors and three air-conditioned cabins, all with en-suite bathrooms. The crew navigates shimmering turquoise seas stopping only to discover deserted islands, coral reefs and dolphins. Treasure the memories of fine dining on the deck with a backdrop of iridescent sunsets and a blanket of stars.

Glass-bottomed boat trip
Take a trip to our fabulous reefs and watch the underwater wildlife without getting your feet wet with this memorable trip on our glass-bottomed boat.

Casino Night
Try your hand a blackjack, poker and the roulette table – strictly for fun, of course.

Bodu Beru Demonstration
'Bodu Beru' means 'big drums' in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi. Come and see the powerful drumming, singing and dancing performance by our team members.

Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, 2034, Maldives
Tel: 960-668-0629
Guest Fax: 960-668-0619

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day

The Columbus Day holiday varies from state to state in America, many people of the country are curious about today being a holiday or not. There are different types of celebrations for the Columbus Day some states declare this day as the Columbus Day holiday and people enjoy a day off from work and students don’t go to schools, on the other hand some of the states of the country don’t recognize this day and everything goes normally and no Columbus Day holiday is celebrated. The very reason for all this is that the exact birth date of Christopher Columbus is not known, according to people it is between the twenty fifth of August and the thirty first of October. We don’t know the exact date of birth of the discoverer of the American continent. In the most parts of the country the jobs that are affiliated with the American government are closed on the 11th of October. The 11th of October has been decided as the Columbus Day and normally this day is declared a holiday, but many organizations and states don’t recognize this day. The stocks will remain open today and if you also work in such a place then you have to go to work today, this shows that the corporate world does not recognize the Columbus Day. The United States is actually not the only one that is going to celebrate the Columbus Day today, many of other countries that include several of the European countries will also celebrate the Columbus Day.

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