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ICELAND- THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE

Never mind its chilly name-as a travel destination, Iceland is hot!


Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland is Europes westernmost country, with the most northerly
capital city in the world. Viking explorers migrated here from northern Europe more than a thousand years
ago, when they established the worlds first parliament. The countrys national language can still be traced
to the one spoken by the Vikings at that time.
Today, Iceland has a population of just over 310,000people, spread over 100,000 square kilometres. Despite
its small size, there are many reasons to visit this remarkable country. Most visitors first port of call is the
countrys capital, Reykjavik, a small, clean city known for its colourful and stylish architecture.
If you love culture, youll really enjoy this place. The city centre is full of shops, art galleries, cafes, and
bookshops. In 2000, Reykjavik was awarded the title of Europes City of Culture, thanks to its impressive
art collections and museums, and lively nightlife.
The good news for visitors is that Icelands temperatures are fairly mild, even in the winter when they stay
at around 4 degrees Celsius. During winter months, nights are long, and the Northern Lights become
visible, lighting up the night sky with a spectacular display. In summer, the country gets almost 22 hours of
daylight, and native Icelanders and visitors alike enjoy partying outdoors until dawn.
But theres much more to Iceland than partying. The country is one of the most volcanically active nations
in the world, and there are a number of hot springs around the island. All are heated naturally by
underground volcanic activity. In fact, energy produced by these springs is converted into electricity which
provides power and heat for peoples homes and businesses. As a result, Iceland burns very little fossil fuel,
such as oil and gas, and has some of the cleanest air in the world. If only every country could be like
Iceland!
One of Icelands most popular hot springs is the Blue Lagoon, a huge lake of bright blue seawater just
outside Reykjavik. Surrounded by volcanoes and lava fields, the Blue Lagoon receives more than 300,000
visitors a year. After a long days sightseeing or a long night of partying, visitors can relax in the lagoons
steaming hot water, which has an average temperature of about 38 degrees Celsius. Some believe the
waters are able to cure certain illnesses and improve skin quality.
There is a range of outdoor activities to enjoy elsewhere in the country, particularly along the coast. Iceland
is an adventure where skiing and cave explorations are great things to do. As long as you have basic caving
knowledge and equipment, you can explore one of Icelands most popular attractions- the unusual lava
caves, most of which formed 10,000 years ago. There are also ice caves for more experienced cavers. The
best known ice caves are in Vatnajokull, a vast layer of ice which, at 8,000 square kilometres, is Europes
largest glacier. Its also situated just above an active volcano!
If exploring caves and glaciers doesnt interest you, head south. Just outside the town of Vik, you can check
out the huge rock formations that were once believed to be monsters turned into stone. These are a dramatic
part of the scenery on one of Icelands most impressive black-sand beaches.
And finally, no trip to Iceland would be complete without a visit to the Golden Circle, a pathway northeast
of Reykjavik that connects Gullfoss (a huge Golden Waterfall), the hot springs region of Geysir, and
Thingvellir National Park. The mid-Atlantic fault that runs through Iceland is literally pulling the island
apart. Nowhere is this more evident than in Thingvellir Valley, where the land is actually separating and the
stony ground beneath your feet frequently moves. Hold on while you hike!

BARCELONA- AN ASTOUNDING CITY


Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain's second largest city, with a population of
over one and half million people. This city, located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of
Spain, has a rich history, having been under Roman, then Frank law before declaring its independence.
In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought a
massive upturn in its tourism industry. This had the effect of changing the city in ways that are still felt
today with neighbourhoods renovated (and in some cases leveled) and the intense focus of modern design
permeating all aspects of life in Barcelona from public buildings to something as simple as a park bench or
an event poster.
Barcelona has an incredible wealth of historic buildings and world heritage monuments in and out the city.
It is a banquet for all the senses, though perhaps mainly for sight. Not far behind are the pleasures of the
palate. The air temperature is almost always about right, more and more streets are pedestrianized, and
tavern after tavern burrow elegantly into medieval walls. Every now and then the fragrance of the sea in the
port or in Barceloneta reminds you that this is, after all, a giant seaport and beach city, with an ancient
Mediterranean tradition that is, at the outset of its third millennium, flourishingand bewitching visitors as
it has for centuries.
ATTRACTIONS SPANNING SEVERAL DISTRICTS:
SAGRADA FAMILIA:
Gaudis dream
The Sagrada Familia is still under construction. Building work began in the late 19th-century and is now
funded by churchgoers and devotees, and through ticket revenue from visitors like you. It is Gaudis dream,
to which he devoted much of his life. At the time of his death in 1926, only one of the towers had been
completed. The continuation of Gaudi s project has become an unmistakable symbol of Barcelona. Walk
from here up to avinguda Gaudi, a pedestrian boulevard which leads to the Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant
Pau, another of Barcelonas modernista buildings.
PARK GUELL:
Gaudis architecture in garden form
The Park Guell is named after Gaudis great patron, Count Eusebi Guell. Although initially planned as a
residential garden city in English style (hence the name Park), the initiative was unsuccessful and only
one showhouse was built, like the one which was Gaudis home and today houses the museum devoted to
the architect. Finally, Guell donated the park to the Municipal Council in 1923 and since then it has
belonged to the municipally and been a unique public park enjoying a prime location. Nowhere else so
successfully integrates Gaudis work into nature: his main source of inspiration.
MONESTIR DE PEDRALBES:
A jewel of Gothic art in the heart of a residential district
In the uptown district, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, stands one of the finest examples of
Catalan Gothic art: Monestir de Pedralbes. Founded in 1326, by Queen Elisenda de Montcada on the
former site of a white stone quarry. In fact, the toponym Pedralbes comes from the Latin petras
albas[white stones]. Although a community of nuns from the Order of Saint Clare still uses one wing of
the complex, most of the monastery is a museum which is open to visitors.
FUTBAL CLUB BARCELONA:
The legend of the greatest club in history
This stop is a must for all football lovers: the place where players such as Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona and
Ronaldinho have made history. Since Hans Gamper founded the club in 1899, it has gone way beyond a
mere passion for football, and become a true social phenomenon. The trophy cases of the Barcelona FC

Museum showcase the impressive list of achievements of one of worlds most successful clubs. If you sign
up for a guided tour, you can discover all the secrets of the Camp Nou stadium: the dressing rooms, the
directors box, the pitch The FCBotiga Megastore covers a surface area of over 2,000 m2 and sells all the
official FC Barcelona merchandise.
MACBA-CCCB:
Contemporary art and culture in the old town
Contrast gains strength and harmony in the Raval district, which is home to Museau dArt Contemporani de
Barcelona(MACBA) and the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona(CCCB). The white, luminous
museum building, which houses works by Catalan, Spanish and international artists from the late 20 th
century, was designed by the architect Richard Meier. You will be surprised to come across this building
after walking through the neighbourhoods narrow streets. Near the museum, the CCCB, a cultural centre
dedicated to the theme of the city and the urban phenomenon, organizes excellent exhibitions, and is a
perfect example of architectural renewal. Dont miss them!
PLACA DESPANYA:
Gateway to the trade fair precinct and Montjuic
This square, with its central monumental fountain by Josep Maria Jujol, marks the gateway to the great
park of Montjuic, the setting for the 1929 Olympic Games. The trade fair pavilions stand behind the two
Venetian towers and are overlooked by the majestic Palau Nacional. Montjuic hill, the citys green lung and
an outstanding vantage point over the harbour, has become a key point of reference for leisure, culture and
sport. Fountains, gardens, theatres, museums and all kinds of sporting facilities make Montjuic today one of
the citys most appealing and variety-filled attractions.
MIRAMAR- JARDINS COSTA I LLOBERA:
Cacti and palm trees on the hill overlooking the sea
Parc de Montjuic features a whole host of attractions, including interesting gardens which are home to all
the kinds of botanical species. The gardens closest to this stop are named after the Mallorcan poet Costa I
Llobera, and feature a collection of palm trees, cacti and other species from subtropical climes. They have
found their ideal habitat here, on this steep, south-east facing hillside, overlooking the sea. The Miramar
area is certainly a romantic spot from where you can enjoy splendid views of the entire city. If you really
love heights, you can take the cable car across the harbour.
PORT VELL:
Barcelonas liveliest and most relaxing area
Mediterranean character becomes fully apparent in the port Vell, the oldest part of Barcelona harbour,
which stretches out in front of the Ribera district. The major leisure and shopping complex, the
Maremagnum, features a wide range of restaurants and shops which are open seven days a week. To get
there from the placa Portal de al Pau, take the Rambla de Mar, the pedestrian walkway across the harbour.
Another major attraction is LAquarium, which takes you on an unmissable and fascinating journey to the
bottom of the sea. You will see for yourselves that walking through the clear glass tunnel below the sharks
pool is a magical experience.

ISLANDA- TARA DE FOC SI DE GHEATA


Nu conteaza cat de rece suna numele, ca destinatie de calatorie , Islanda este fierbinte !
Situata in Oceanul Atlantic de Nord , Islanda este mai vestica tara din Europa, cu capitala cea mai nordica
din lume . Exploratorii Vikingi au migrat aici din nordul Europei, in urma cu mai mult de o mie de ani ,
atunci cand au stabilit primul parlament din lume . in limba nationala a tarii pot fi gasite cuvinte provenite
din limba acestora .
Astazi , Islanda are o populatie de peste 310.000 de persoane , raspandite peste 100.000 de kilometri patrati
. in ciuda dimensiunii sale mici , exista mai multe motive pentru a vizita aceasta tara remarcabila .
Destinatia cea mai cautata de vizitatori este capitala tarii , Reykjavik , un oras mic , curat , cunoscut pentru
arhitectura sa colorata si eleganta. Daca va place cultura , va veti bucura cu adevarat de acest loc . Centrul
orasului este plin de magazine, galerii de arta , cafenele si librarii . in anul 2000 , Reykjavik a fost distins cu
titlul de oras al culturii Europei , datorita colectiilor sale impresionante de arta si muzee , si viata de noapte
plina de viata .
Vestea buna pentru vizitatori este ca temperaturile din Islanda sunt destul de blande , chiar si in timpul
iernii , atunci cand ajunge la aproximativ 4 grade Celsius . In timpul lunilor de iarna , noptile sunt lungi , iar
Aurora Boreala devine vizibila , luminand cerul noaptii cu un peisaj spectaculos . In timpul verii , tara are
aproape 22 de ore de lumina, si islandezii nativi si vizitatorii deopotriva se bucura de petreceri in aer liber
pana in zori .
Dar exista mult mai mult in Islanda decat petreceri . Tara este una dintre cele mai vulcanice natiuni din
lume , si exista o serie de izvoare termale in jurul insulei . Toate sunt incalzite in mod natural de activitatea
vulcanica subterana . De fapt , energia produsa de aceste izvoare este transformata in energie electrica , care
furnizeaza energie si caldura pentru casele oamenilor si intreprinderi . Ca rezultat , Islanda arde
combustibili fosili foarte putini , cum ar fi petrol si gaze , si aerul este unul din cele mai curate din lume .
Daca toate tarile ar fi ca Islanda!
Unul dintre izvoarele termale cele mai populare din Islanda este Blue Lagoon , un lac imens cu o apa de un
albastru stralucitor chiar in afara Reykjavik-ului . Inconjurat de vulcani si campuri de lava , Blue Lagoon
primeste mai mult de 300.000 de vizitatori pe an . Dupa o zi lunga de plimbari in aer liber sau o noapte
lunga de petreceri , vizitatorii se pot relaxa in apa fierbinte a lagunei , care are o temperatura medie de
aproximativ 38 de grade Celsius . Unii cred ca apele sunt capabile de vindecarea anumitor boli si de
imbunatatirea calitatii pielii .
Exista o serie de activitati in aer liber de care turistii se pot bucura in alta parte a tarii, in special de-a lungul
coastei . Islanda este o aventura in care schiatul si explorarea pesterilor sunt lucruri grozave de facut . Atata
timp cat aveti cunostinte de baza si echipament , puteti explora una dintre atractiile cele mai populare din
Islanda pesterile de lava formate acum 10.000 de ani . Exista, de asemenea, pesteri de gheata pentru
aventurierii experimentati . Cele mai cunoscute pesteri de gheata sunt in Vatnajokull , un strat mare de
gheata care , la 8.000 de kilometri patrati , este cel mai mare ghetar din Europa . Este , de asemenea, situat
chiar deasupra unui vulcan activ !
Daca explorarea pesterilor nu va intereseaza, indreptati-va spre sud . Chiar in afara orasului Vik , puteti
vedea formatiuni de roca imense , care au fost odata considerate a fi monstri transformati in piatra . Acestea
sunt o parte dramatica a peisajului, aflandu-se pe una dintre cele mai impresionante plaje cu nisip negru din
Islanda .
Si, in sfarsit , nici o excursie in Islanda nu ar fi completa fara o vizita la Golden Circle, o cale nord-estica
Reykjavik-ului , care se conecteaza cu Gullfoss ( o imensa "Golden Waterfall " ) , regiunea de izvoare
termale din Geysir , si Parcul National Thingvellir . Falia mijlocului Atlanticului, care trece prin Islanda
trage literalmente insula afara . Nicaieri nu este mai evident decat in Thingvellir Valley ,terenul, de fapt, se
separa iar solul pietros de sub picioarele tale se misca frecvent . Tine-te in timp ce faci o excursie pe jos !

BARCELONA UN ORAS ULUITOR


Barcelona cel mai mare oras al Cataloniei si al doilea cel mai mare oras din Spania , are o
populatie de peste un milion si jumatate de oameni. Acest oras este situat pe coasta
mediteraneana de nord-est a Spaniei.
In 1992 , Barcelona a castigat recunoasterea internationala prin gazduirea Jocurilor Olimpice,
care au adus un progres masiv in industria turismului.
Barcelona are o bogatie incredibila de cladiri istorice si monumente de patrimoniu mondial. Este
un banchet pentru toate simturile, desi, probabil, in special pentru vedere. Parfumul marii se
simpte in port sau in Barceloneta si va reaminteste ca, la urma urmei, este un port maritim gigant,
cu o traditie mediteraneana veche, care, de la inceputul celui de-al treilea mileniu, este infloritor si
care a fascinant vizitatorii de-a lungul secoleleor.
ATRACTII INTINSE DE-A LUNGUL CARTIERELOR:
Sagrada Familia :
Visul lui Gaudi
Sagrada Familia este inca in constructie. Lucrarile de constructie au inceput la sfarsitul secolului
al 19-lea , iar acum este finantat de catre biserica si adepti, prin veniturile castigate din vanzarea
biletelor vizitatorilor ca tine. Este visul lui Gaudi , caruia i-a dedicat o mare parte din viata lui.
Pana la moartea sa, in 1926, doar unul din turnuri a fost finalizat. Continuarea proiectului Gaudi
a devenit un simbol inconfundabil in Barcelona. Mergi pe jos de aici pana la Avinguda Gaudi, un
bulevard pietonal care duce la Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau, alta cladire modernista din
Barcelona .
PARK GUELL :
Arhitectura lui Gaudi in forma de gradina
Parcul Guell este numit dupa marele patron al lui Gaudi , contele Eusebi Guell . Desi initial
planificat ca o gradina rezidentiala in stil englezesc ( de unde si numele de " Park " ) , initiativa nu
a avut succes si doar o parte a fost construita, cea care a fost casa lui Gaudi casa ce a devenit
astazi un muzeu. In cele din urma , Guell a donat parcul Consiliului Municipal in 1923 si de
atunci a fost un parc public unic, care se bucura de o locatie excelenta . Nicaieri nu a mai fost
integrata cu succes munca lui Gaudi in natura : principala sa sursa de inspiratie .
MONESTIR DE PEDRALBES :
O bijuterie a artei gotice in inima unui cartier rezidential
In cartierul central, departe de agitatia orasului, se afla unul dintre cele mai bune exemple de arta
catalana gotica : Monestir de Pedralbes. A fost fondata in 1326, de catre Regina Elisenda de
Montcada pe fostul site al unei cariere de piatra alba . De fapt, toponimul Pedralbes vine din
latina " Petras Albas " [ pietre albe ]. Desi o comunitate de calugarite din Ordinul Saint Clares
foloseste inca o aripa a complexului, cea mai mare a manastirii este un muzeu care este deschis
vizitatorilor .
FUTBAL CLUB BARCELONA:
Legenda celui mai mare club de forbal din istorie
Aceasta oprire este o necesitate pentru toti iubitorii de fotbal : locul in care jucatorii cum ar fi
Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona si Ronaldinho au facut istorie. De cand Hans Gamper a fondat clubul in

1899, acesta a trecut dincolo de o simpla pasiune pentru fotbal, si a devenit un adevarat
fenomen social. Trofeele Muzeului FC Barcelona prezinta lista impresionanta de realizari ale
unuia din cluburile cele mai de succes din lume. Daca va inscrieti pentru un tur cu ghidul, puteti
descoperi toate secretele stadionului Camp Nou: vestiare, caseta directorului, teren ...FCBotiga
Megastore acopera o suprafata de peste 2.000 m 2 si vinde toata marfa oficiala a FC Barcelonei .
MACBA - CCCB :
Arta si cultura contemporane in orasul vechi
Contrastul castiga putere si armonie in cartierul Raval, care este casa, la Museau d' Art
contemporani de Barcelona ( MACBA ) si Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona ( CCCB).
Cladirea muzeului luminos, ce gazduieste lucrari ai unor artisti spanioli si internationali din secolul
al 20-lea, a fost proiectata de arhitectul Richard Meier. Veti fi surprins cand veti da de aceasta
cladire dupa mersul pe jos pe strazile inguste din cartier. In apropierea muzeului, CCCB, un
centru cultural dedicat temei orasului si fenomenului urban, organizeaza expozitii excelente, si
este un exemplu perfect de reinnoire arhitecturala. Nu le ratati!
PLACA D' ESPANYA :
Intrare in zona de afaceri limitate si in Montjuic
Acesta piata, cu fantana sa centrala monumentala de Josep Maria Jujol, marcheaza poarta de
acces la marele parc de Montjuic, asezarea Jocurilor Olimpice din 1992. Pavilioanele de targ
stau in spatele celor doua turnuri venetiene si pot fi vazute din maiestuosul Palau Nacional.
Dealul Montjuic, plamanul verde al orasului si un punct remarcabil de vizionare asupra portului, a
devenit un punct cheie pentru petrecerea timpului liber, cultura si sport. Fantani, gradini, teatre,
muzee si tot felul de facilitati sportive, fac Montjuic astazi una dintre cele mai atragatoare si
variate atractii ale orasului.
MIRAMAR - JARDINS COSTA I LLOBER :
Cactusi si palmieri pe dealul cu vedere la mare
Parc de Montjuic dispune de o intreaga serie de atractii, inclusiv gradini interesante, care sunt
casa tuturor tipurilor de specii botanice. Cele mai apropiate de aceasta statie sunt numite dupa
poetul Mallorca Costa I Llobera, si ofera o colectie de palmieri, cactusi si alte specii de climat
subtropical. Ele au gasit habitatul lor ideal aici, pe acest deal sud - estic cu vedere la mare. Zona
Miramar este cu siguranta un loc romantic , de unde va puteti bucura de privelisti splendide
asupra intregului oras. Daca va plac inaltimile, puteti lua telecabina peste port .
PORT VELL :
Cea mai relaxanta si plina de viata zona a Barcelonei
Caracterul mediteranean este evidentiat pe deplin in portul Vell, cea mai veche parte a portului
Barcelona, care se intinde in fata cartierul Ribera. Cel mai mare complex de agrement si
cumparaturi, Maremagnum, ofera o gama larga de restaurante si magazine care sunt deschise
sapte zile pe saptamana. Pentru a ajunge acolo de la Plaa Portal de al Pau, ia Rambla de Mar,
pasarela pietonala din port. O alta atractie majora este L' Aquarium, care te duce intr-o calatorie
de neratat in adancul marii. Veti vedea ca mersul pe jos prin tunelul din sticla transparenta situat
sub piscina rechinilor este o experienta magica.