World Tour 1: Antigua thru Croatia

Welcome to Encircle Photos. Part 1 of your World Tour highlights 50 global cities. Enjoy the travel photos but also read the descriptions. The historic details are fascinating. Then explore the other galleries that encircle the world!

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1 Elevated View of English and Falmouth Harbours in English Harbour, Antigua

From the Battery platform, better known as The Lookout, at the former British fort Shirley Heights is this magnificent view of the southernmost point of Antigua. In the foreground is Fort Tyler at the end of the small peninsula stretching into English Harbour. On the right is Falmouth Harbour. In the background are Sugar Loaf (1,042 feet) and Signal Hill (1,207 feet).

Shirley Heights, The Battery, Antigua and Barbuda
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2 Cannon at Fort James in St. John’s, Antigua

This is one of 10 cannons around Fort James at the northern entrance of St. John’s Harbour in Antigua. Each of these 2.5 ton cannons could fire a 24 pound ball up to 1.5 miles. Surprisingly, these museum quality guns are rarely visited. Instead, they are rusting away among the ruins of the British fort. Yet these smooth bores are still pointing out to sea as if waiting since 1706 for a battle that never happened.

Fort James, St John's Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda
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3 Palace of Running Water in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This is the most impressive water treatment building in the world! During the 1870’s, a period of high growth for Buenos Aires, the capital city suffered yellow fever because of poor sanitation. The solution? Build a palace. This magnificent, block-long building has beautiful coloring, French Renaissance flair and over 300,000 terracotta tiles. All of this grandeur housed a water works system. It’s called Palacio de Aguas Corrientes or the Palace of Running Water. It’s still works (pun intended).

C1025AAP, Riobamba 750, C1025ABP CABA, Argentina
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4 Iconic Divi-divi Tree at Eagle Beach Near Oranjestad, Aruba

When you Google Aruba you will immediately see numerous photos of this twisted, windswept tree. The locals call it divi-divi, the Arawak name is watapana, the scientific classification is caesalpinia coriaria and the island considers it their national tree. This iconic symbol of Aruba is bent towards the Caribbean Sea along the beautiful Eagle Beach. Don’t miss it!

Divi Tree, Eagle Beach, Aruba
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5 Scenic Skyway at Scenic World in Katoomba in Blue Mountains, Australia

Scenic Skyway has been delighting passengers since 1958. The ride travels 2,362 feet across the Kedumba River valley. The large windows provide a terrific perspective of the Three Sisters. A glass floor gives you an unobstructed view of the gorge and Katoomba Falls 885 feet below you. This car is headed towards the Skyway East Station. The terminus connects to the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Along this winding trail are several amazing lookouts. Echo Point and Spooners Lookout provide the closet view of the Three Sisters. If you are super ambitious and physically fit, consider the Three Sisters Hike. But be forewarned. This difficult trail reaches an elevation of 7,000 feet and forms a 48 mile circle.

Violet St & Cliff Drive, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia
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6 Railway Station Arch Entry in Fremantle, Australia

Fremantle is a small port town in western Australia that neighbors Perth. It is charming to walk among the well-preserved buildings that date from 1830 to the early 1900’s; many of them reflect its merchant and shipping heritage. This railway station façade was built in 1907 with brick and local Donnybrook stone. It closed in 1979 yet re-opened four years later. Notice the perched birds; they are a tribute to the Swan River that flows nearby.

Fremantle Stn, Stand 1, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
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7 Aireys Inlet Beach on Great Ocean Road, Australia

Most tourists to Aireys Inlet only visit the lighthouse or stretch their legs along the Cliff Top Walk or Lighthouse Precinct Walk before resuming their drive on the Great Ocean Road. That is perfect. It allows you to treasure this exquisite Aireys Inlet Beach in solitude. Defining this 1,640 stretch of rock-strewn sand is an eroding red bluff and sandstone formations created by millenniums of waves and wind. At low tide, rock pools form and become a haven for tiny sea creatures. This gorgeous seascape is not visible from the parking lot at the end of Eagle Rock Parade. It unfolds after walking a short distance and around a large, rust-colored pinnacle at the end of a headland. The beach is part of the Lorne-Queenscliff Coastal Reserve.

Reserve Rd & Inlet Cres, Aireys Inlet VIC 3231, Australia
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8 Skyline of Melbourne, Australia

Spectacular! This is one of countless superlatives applicable to describe the capital of Victoria plus Australia’s second largest city with 4.7 million residents. It was founded as a British colony in 1835 and named in honor of William Lamb, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time. Within two decades, Melbourne’s population and riches boomed during the Victorian gold rush. Their prosperity surged through most of the 20th century. Today, Melbourne is home to international companies, a diverse collection of arts and sports plus is often ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities.

Station Pier, Waterfront Pl, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia
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9 Cycling Past the Wheel of Perth at Barrack Square in Perth, Australia

The exciting, modern city of Perth is in western Australia. Its tall, glass skyscrapers are a backdrop to vineyards, Swan River cruises, welcoming parks and Indian Ocean beaches. A giant Ferris wheel called the Wheel of Perth was a prominent feature of Barrack Square and Perth’s skyline. It closed in 2010. A smaller version was built in Fremantle a year later.

Barrack Square, Perth WA 6000, Australia
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10 Cape Woolamai Beach in Cape Woolamai on Phillip Island, Australia

Your introduction to Phillip Island’s southern coastline will bedazzle you. A wide, near-flawless stretch of golden sand defines 2.6 miles of Cape Woolamai, a headland facing Bass Strait. Although its constant waves justifiably intimidate swimmers, this National Surfing Reserve is a welcome challenge among boarders. Hikers enjoy it, too. The 5.3 mile Cape Woolamai Coastal Walk encircles the promontory revealing spectacular sites such as The Pinnacles. These impressive columns of granite accent the end of the bluff.

Club House, Woolamai Beach Rd, Cape Woolamai VIC 3925, Australia
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11 Introduction to Port Arthur, Australia

For nearly fifty years, Port Arthur confined, punished, tortured and subjected to hard labor over 12,700 of the British Empire’s hardened criminals. Named after Sir George Arthur – the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land from 1824 to 1836 – this bayside, 100 acre property was supposed to be an exemplary reformatory based on the Separate Prison Typology theory. Instead, the penal site evolved into one of Australia’s cruelest prisons. Most of the original 30 buildings are gone or in various state of ruins. These hallowed shells among groomed paths and blooming gardens only add to the haunting atrocities that occurred within their crumbled walls.

6973 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS 7182, Australia
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12 Sydney Harbour and Skyline at Port Jackson in Sydney, Australia

The South Pacific Ocean flows into Sydney Harbour creating a spectacular setting for this eastern Australian city. The skyline includes the iconic Sydney Opera House plus the Martello Tower at Fort Denison on Pinchgut Island. Port Jackson is always busy with ferries, commercial boats, cruise ships and sailboats. This is also the site of spectacular fireworks when Sydney is the first city to celebrate the New Year.

2 Milson Rd, Cremorne Point, NSW 2090, Australia
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13 Elephant Statue Facing Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum in Vienna, Austria

An art and a history museum in Vienna, Austria, are architecturally mirrored buildings that resemble a palace and were built in 1891. The Kunsthistorisches Art History Museum displays art from world masters. The Naturhistorisches Museum of Natural History (not pictured) contains over 30 million objects, including dinosaurs, fossils and extinct plants. In the Maria-Theresien-Platz between them stands a humble, bronze elephant. In the center is a statue of Empress Maria Theresa, who was a Habsburg ruler in the 18th century.

Burgring 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
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14 Bertram’s Cove Namesake at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Great Stirrup Cay’s main stretch of sand is called Bertram’s Cove in honor of Captain Allan Bertram. The British Navy captain was commander of the HMS Tweed. When he died in 1834 at the age of 44, his wish was granted to be buried on his beloved island facing this beach. In 1979, NCL placed a marker on his grave near the flagpole.

Great Stirrup Cay, The Bahamas
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15 Romantic Isolation On Beach at Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas

The white sand on this private island stretches for two miles. Although it can be a bit crowded near the tender pier, the further you walk the more isolated and romantic it becomes. So hold your partner’s hand and go enjoy a perfect afternoon now while creating a lasting memory for the future.

Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas
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16 Atlantis Paradise Island Properties in Nassau, Bahamas

Three of the six Atlantis Paradise Island properties are shown in this view from the Sidney Poitier Bridge. The colorful villas in the foreground are part of Harborside Resort. On the right is the iconic Royal Towers. Their most expensive room – the Bridge Suite – features a 1,250 square foot living room with a grand piano plus a private staff of seven. Don’t ask about the rate. You can’t afford it. On the left is The Cove Atlantis. This all-suites tower opened in 2007.

Sidney Poitier Bridge, Nassau, The Bahamas
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17 Legend of Village Name at Bathsheba, Barbados

According to legend, the wife of King David pampered herself with milk baths in order to keep her skin soft and beautiful. The Atlantic Ocean creates similar warm, frothy pools in the rocks along the east coast of Barbados. Some people also claim the water contains minerals that provide cosmetic and medicinal benefits. As a result, this small fishing village in Saint Joseph Parish was given the queen’s name: Bathsheba.

Bathsheba Park BB21054, Barbados
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18 Flag above Clock Tower at Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, Barbados

The Barbadian flag above The Public Buildings’ clock tower features a broken trident. The heraldic symbol was adopted on November 30, 1966. This was the day Barbados became independent of British rule since English settlers arrived on the island in 1627. The three points represent the “government of, for and by the people.” As a constitutional monarchy, Elizabeth II is the head of state and Queen of Barbados.

Broad St & Rickett St, Bridgetown, Barbados
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19 Stadhuis and Brabo Fountain in Antwerp, Belgium

The centerpiece of Grote Markt square is Stadhuis, a mid-16th century, Renaissance city hall decorated with colorful flags. Below the Virgin Mary statue is the Hapsburg coat of arms. This Spanish dynasty ruled central Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. More interesting is the 1887 statue of Silvius Brabo. He liberated sailors from paying tolls after defeating a giant named Druon Antigoon. The hero is about to throw his enemy’s severed hand into the Schelde River. The Flemish word for this is handwerpen. According to legend, this is how Antwerp got its name.

Grote Markt 1, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
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20 Flower Market and Guildhalls at Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium

These 17th century guildhalls are a few of the magnificent buildings encircling Grote Markt in Brussels. Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An array of fresh flowers is sold daily in the market. Every other August since 1971, this central square is adorned with a million fragrant flowers. The Tapis de Fleurs Association creates a 252 by 78 foot floral blanket with intricate designs resembling a tapestry. The biennial event is called Flower Carpet.

Grand Place 21, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
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21 Savor the Undeveloped Beauty South of Kralendijk, Bonaire

Say the words “Caribbean Island” and most people think of lush vegetation, sandy beaches, fancy hotels and exciting night life. None of that describes Bonaire. Instead, only 5% of this crescent-shaped island is developed. It offers 112 square miles of unspoiled, natural beauty surrounded by exquisite coral reefs. So enjoy and savor it leisurely.

Van der Valk Plaza Beach Resort Bonaire 80 Julio A. Abraham Boulevard, Kralendijk, Caribbean Netherlands
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22 Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas From Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a dazzling city for tourists. You can sun at the beautiful beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, take a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, and thrill at the views of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (pictured) from Corcovado mountain while visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue. Commonly known as “Lagoa,” the lagoon neighborhood is surrounded by affluent, residential high-rises and a beautiful, four mile cycling path. For shoppers, tour the headquarters of H. Stern and try on luxury jewelry. For dinner, eat at one of the original Brazilian steak houses.

Corcovado, Alto da Boa Vista, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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23 Introduction of Bayon in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

Shortly after defeating the Cham in 1178, Jayavarman VII became King of the Khmer Empire and launched a massive building campaign. His first project was Bayon located within an area now called Angkor Thom. It was initially a Buddhist temple but later became Hindu. This state temple was structured to resemble Mount Meru, the intersection of heaven and earth. The archeological gem is famous for its 216 giant stone faces on the 37 remaining towers. Originally, there were 49 prasats.

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia
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24 Jungle Temple of Ta Prohm in Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia

French naturalist Henri Mouhot is credited with “discovering” the ancient temples of Angkor in 1860. His actual accomplishment was popularizing these archeological ruins among Europeans. This sparked a major restoration effort during the 20th century managed by École française d’Extrême-Orient (French School of the Far East). Many of the structures were reclaimed from the vegetation engulfing them. One of the exceptions is Ta Prohm, nicknamed the Jungle Temple. Much of this complex had become ensnarled in the roots of giant sprongs, strangler figs and silk cotton trees. Removing them meant destroying the buildings so the wooden tentacles were left in place. The result is an enchanting beauty.

Ta Prohm, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
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25 Young Girls Going to Work in Farm Fields in Cheung Prey District, Cambodia

The Cheung Prey District is a remote region of Cambodia made famous for selling fried spiders in Skuron, its capital city. The people are hardworking farmers yet very poor. Typically, their rickety houses are on stilts and pieced together by scrap metal, old wood and tree limbs. Most farmers cultivate their land by hand. The lucky ones use oxen. These young girls crawled out of the back of a crowded truck after school. They immediately picked up hoes and walked towards the muddy fields to help their parents.

Hun Sen Skun High School, National Road 6, Cheung Prey District, Cambodia
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26 Danger Land Mines Sign with Skull and Crossbones at Koh Ker Temples, Cambodia

The Koh Ker temples in Cambodia offer a fascinating view of pyramids, sanctuaries, palaces, moats and tombs built by Jayavarman IV, ruler of the Khmer Empire in the 10th century. But as peaceful and secluded as these ruins are, signs warn of dangers buried in the surrounding jungle. When Pol Pot, the ruthless dictator of the Khmer Rouge, was overthrown in Phnom Penh in 1979, his army planted land mines which he called “the perfect solders” because they were always ready to explode. Approximately three million have been cleared, but up to six million remain. They still kill hundreds a year, usually boys, and have caused 40,000 amputees. So, don’t wander off the beaten path … literally.

Koh Ker Temples, 2641D Cambodia
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27 Halifax, Canada Composite of Two Photos

This is a composite of Halifax in Nova Scotia Providence, Canada. In the background is the Halifax Town Clock. This landmark on Citadel Hill was built in 1803. In the foreground is a man re-enacting a mid-1800s soldier from the Royal Artillery at Fort George. The fortress, which was built in 1856, is called the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.

Halifax Town Clock, 1766 Brunswick St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Y3, Canada
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28 Scarecrow at Annual Great Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay, Canada

Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, Canada is a charming maritime town with less than 1,000 residents that comes alive during their annual scarecrow festival in early October. There are hundreds of creative scarecrows on the town’s streets, including Queen Elizabeth and the Royal family. Events also include an antique fair and pumpkin carving contest. It is a tremendous way to spend an autumn afternoon.

Pleasant St & Main St., Mahone Bay, NS B0J 2E0, Canada
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29 Lantern Festival in Chinese Garden on Dream Lake in Montreal, Canada

The Magic of Lanterns festival in the Chinese Garden of Montreal’s Botanical Garden is spectacular, particularly at night. On display are nearly 1,000 silk lanterns from Shanghai where the Chinese have displayed them for New Year celebrations since the second century BC. The illuminated lanterns range from the simple to the elaborate and depict animals, insects and entire armies like this one on Dream Lake with Friendship Hall in the background. You’ll also enjoy the thousands of surrounding trees, plants and flowers.

4101 Sherbrooke St E, Montreal, QC H1X 2B2, Canada
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30 Montmorency Falls near Quebec City, Canada

The sounds and sights of water dropping 275 feet over the Montmorency Falls near Quebec City, Canada, are impressive. You can watch the cascade from atop the suspension bridge, feel the mist along the walkways or venture down the long staircase to the basin. The falls are nearly 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls.

Montmorency Falls Vista Point, 5300 Boulevard Sainte-Anne, Québec, QC G1C 1S1, Canada
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31 Reflection of Vancouver Clock Tower at Granville and Broadway in Vancouver, Canada

Downtown Vancouver, Canada is a sea of beautiful, modern and glass skyscrapers. In the Vancouver Block neighborhood is a 15 story building with white, terra cotta cladding. Atop this 1912 Edwardian landmark sits the Vancouver Clock Tower. This photo reflects the multi-generational architectural styles that grace the City of Vancouver in British Columbia.

Granville St & W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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32 The Empress Hotel and Inner Harbour in Victoria, Canada

Nestled into the Inner Harbour on Canada’s Pacific coast is the charming city of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The vine-covered Empress Hotel, which is also called The Fairmont Express, was built in 1908. It greets visitors arriving by boat, seaplane or cruise ship and beckons them for Victorian afternoon tea. Nearby are gorgeous parliament buildings. Most enjoyable is a stroll along the historical streets. Then savor a seafood lunch outdoors. The gulls and pigeons will be happy to share it with you.

721 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5, Canada
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33 Winnipeg Skyline Along Red River, Canada

Winnipeg, Canada, was formed at the confluence of the Red River and the Assiniboine River at a point called “The Forks,” which is the name of the park in the foreground. It has grown into the country’s seventh largest city and the capital for Manitoba province. On the left is the
Canadian Museum for Human Rights which was finished in 2014. The white pedestrian bridge on the right is the Esplanade Riel. In between them in this photo are several of downtown Winnipeg’s high-rises.

Avenue de la Cathedral & Tache Ave, Winnipeg, MB R2H 0H7, Canada
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34 Floating Iceberg along Chilean Coast Near Laguna San Rafael, Chile

Icebergs that float along the southern, Pacific coast of Chile often appear blue because of an optical illusion caused by the ice crystals scattering the sunlight. When a chunk breaks off the nine-mile San Rafael Glacier, it sound like dynamite followed by an enormous wave. Then the 300,000 year-old sculptures travel gracefully until melted by the sea. Unfortunately, the two million acre ice field called Campo De Hielo Norte is retreating by over 600 feet a year.

Laguna San Rafael National Park, Aysén Region, Chile
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35 Sunset Over the South Pacific Ocean along Chilean Coastline

The sunsets over the Pacific Ocean on the southern Chilean coast are unusually spectacular with intense reds and oranges that dance off ribbons of swirling clouds. It makes dusk a beautiful and magical time of the day.

[-43.106616, -74.595965]
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36 Osorno Volcano Lake Llanquihue in Frutillar, Chile

These people standing on a long wooden pier (Muelle Frutillar) are enjoying a gorgeous scene. In the foreground is Lake Llanquihue. At 330 square miles, this glacier-formed lake is Chile’s second biggest. The snowcapped mountain in the background is Volcán Osorno. This still active volcano stands over 8,700 feet and is part of the Southern Andes range.

Avenida Philippi & Jorge Montt, Frutillar, X Región, Chile
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37 Penguin Colony at Penguin Reserve on Magdalena Island, Chile

Imagine seeing thousands of penguins on a small island that is only about 210 acres! From Punta Arenas, Chile, you take a boat about 20 miles through the Straits of Magellan before arriving at Magdalena Island. It is uninhabited … unless you are counting the 120,000 Magellanic penguins. You can walk among them as they waddle along, poke out of burrows, care for their chicks and gather in social circles. What an amazing neighborhood!

Magdalena Island, Magallanes y la Antártica, Chilena Region, Chile
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38 Metropolitan Cathedral’s Central Nave in Santiago, Chile

Santiago’s first cathedral located on Plaza de Armas dates back to 1561. The current Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago is the fifth iteration. Bavarian Jesuits commissioned Antonio Acuña to begin construction in 1745. Several other architects influenced its design before the Metropolitan Cathedral was finished in 1830. The baroque interior has domes with stained glass windows and an ornate molded ceiling graced with frescos. Surrounding the central nave are columned arches. Each supports a chandelier and is flanked by religious statues of prophets and the Apostles. In front of the wooden pews is a German-made, marble altar built in 1912 with a sculpture of the Ascension of the Virgin Mary. It is easy to see why the cathedral was named a National Monument in 1951.

Plaza de Armas 951, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
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39 City Surrounding Seaport in Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaíso was a quiet fishing village until Chile became independent from Spanish rule and the Chilean Navy established its headquarters, academy and port here in the early 19th century. Within decades it grew into a major commercial seaport. Although nearby San Antonio is now Chile’s largest port, the Greater Valparaíso metropolitan area has become the country’s second largest city with a population of over 900,000 people.

Paseo 21 De Mayo Valpo Paseo Veintiuno de Mayo 108, Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile
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40 Gate of Heavenly Peace at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

Facing Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China is the Gate of Heavenly Peace. This is the entrance to the Imperial City. It was first built in the Ming Dynasty in the early 15th century. The 1.5 tonnes portrait over the gate is of Mao Zedong. He was also called Mao Tse-tung or Chairman Mao while he was the head of the Communist Party of China from 1949 until 1976. This passage leads to the Meridian Gate or the southern entrance to the Forbidden City. The Chinese Imperial palace contains over 900 buildings.

Gate of Heavenly Peace, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
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41 Pedestrian Bridge in Eling Park or Goose Neck Park in Chongqing, China

Chongqing, which means “Celebrate Again,” is in southwest China along the 4,000 mile Yangtze River. The municipality’s 29 million people are equivalent to the top 15 U.S. cities combined. A haven from this crowd is Eling Park which was created in 1909. Also called Goose Neck Park, it provides spectacular views from atop Eling Mountain. Enjoy a quiet stroll through the beautiful Qing Dynasty’s gardens, which include lotus ponds, bamboo groves, a zoo and arc bridges.

181 Eling Main St, Yuzhong Qu, Chongqing Shi, China, 400014
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42 Busy Street with Chinese Signs in Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China is a vibrant and exciting city yet also very congested. The aerial view of the harbor skyline with its 1,200 skyscrapers is impressive and beautiful from the summit of Victoria Peak. However, up close at street level, parts of downtown can be overwhelming with hundreds of signs competing for the attention of thousands of people. After a day at ground level, you feel exhausted as if you have bumped into all seven million ethnic Chinese.

Tung Choi St & Bute St Mong Kok, Hong Kong
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43 Thatched Umbrellas and Beach Chairs on Haitang Bay, Sanya, Hainan Island, China

Hainan is an island in the South China Sea whose capital is Sanya. Until recently, it was unspoiled. Away from the few cities, you’ll see tropical forests and farmers in conical straw hats guiding oxen through rice paddies. The coastline offers pristine beaches and bays like Haitang where thatched umbrellas and loungers welcome you to a perfect afternoon. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s been discovered by major hotel chains.

Ye Zhou Lu Haitang Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China
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44 Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China

The Oriental Pearl Tower is a stunning landmark in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China, the world’s largest city with nearly 18 million people. It was built in 1994 for radio and TV transmissions but is also home to restaurants, a mall, a hotel and an observation deck at over 1,100 feet. The design has 11 spheres, but the two large pink ones are the most prominent.

2852-2 Binjiang Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
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Tujia Peapod Boat Worker Smoking Pipe near Shennong Stream on Yangtze River, China

The Yangtze River flows through China for nearly 4,000 miles. Before the Shennong Stream empties into the Yangtze near the Wu Gorge, it zigzags from atop the Shennong Jia peak through narrow passages, lush vegetation, spectacular canyons, waterfalls and rocky shores. The peasants that navigate these treacherous waters are called Tujia. They expertly steer their sampans (called peapod boats) using primitive, long paddles or, when stuck in the shallows, they drag the boat by rope. This Tujia man was taking a break for a smoke on his opium pipe.

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45 Outer Wall of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena’s landmark fort was first built on the Hill of San Lázaro during the early 16th century. When the citadel was significantly expanded in 1657, it was named in honor of Felipe IV. He was the King of Spain from 1621 until 1665. The Castillo has the distinction of being the largest military fortification ever built within the Spanish colonies. It is easy to see how these massive walls repelled an attack by over 23,500 British soldiers in 1741. The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Cra. 17 #30-35, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
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46 Woman on Beach Through Palm Leaf on Playa Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica

Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is perfect for suffers: small and laidback with white, pristine beaches and perfect waves. It was made famous in the 1994 surfer movie “Endless Summer II” yet remains unspoiled. For example, you are likely to see cows rooming the one dusty street in this town of 500. So, if you’re looking for isolation and warmth, then go to Playa Tamarindo, side step the Leatherback Turtles and put your toes into the Pacific Ocean like this woman seen through the palm leaves.

Calle Cruz, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
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47 Fort Lovrijenac Next to Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the early 11th century, the sea-facing, 40 foot thick walls of Fort Lovrijenac were constructed in three months to fend off a pending Venetian attack. Nicknamed “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” St. Lawrence Fortress stands on a 121 foot cliff along Pile bay near the western edge of Old Town. Above its entrance is an inscription from the Aesop fable “Of Dog and the Wolf.” It says, “Freedom is not sold for all of the gold in the world.” Fans of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” will recognize this as part of King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms.

Ul. od Tabakarije 29, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
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48 Staircase to Revelin Tower in Korčula, Croatia

Since the 13th century, the Revelin Tower has been the major entry to Old Town from the south. It is also called the Dry Land Gate because it is the only one not facing the water. In 1863, this grand staircase replaced an earlier one. Above the arched portal is a plaque commemorating the millennium crowing of Tomislav. He became the first King of the Croatian Kingdom in 925 AD.

Ul. Korčulanskog statuta 1214, 20260, Korčula, Croatia
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49 High Altar Inside the Cathedral of Saint Domnius in Split, Croatia

The Katedrala Svetog Duje’s high altar is spectacular. Built in 1767 by Giovanni Morlaiter, it is crowned by a semi-dome with paintings by Matej Pončun. On either side are two large gilded angels suspending a regulatory. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Domnius. He was the Bishop of Salona when he was beheaded at the command of Diocletian in 304 AD. Ironically, the relics of Split’s patron saint are now in the mausoleum built in 305 AD for the Roman emperor who ordered his death. Conversely, Diocletian’s remains have disappeared.

Ul. Kraj Svetog Duje 5, 21000, Split, Croatia
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