World Tour 3: Egypt – Hungary

World Tour – 3 continues to sample some of the most exciting locations in the world. Use Encircle Photos to build your bucket list, recall past trips or plan your next one. New travel guides are added almost weekly. Return often to see what you have missed.

Share this

1 Pharaoh Ramesses II Statues at Temple of Ramesses in Abu Simbel, Egypt

It is extremely hot in southern Egypt on the shores of Lake Nasser. Located there is the almost deserted town of Abu Simbel. Few people would visit here if not for two spectacular temples built by Ramesses II. He ruled for 66 years until he died in his mid-nineties in 1213 BC. These are two of four colossal statues of the pharaoh sculpted into the face of a cliff. They guard the entrance to the Great Temple. This is also called the Temple of Re-Harakhte or the Sun Temple. These magnificent carvings are over 65 feet tall. They portray him on his throne wearing a double crown and a nemes headdress. Notice on the left that his false beard is still intact.

Abu Simbel Temples, Aswan Governorate, Egypt

2 Camel and Egyptian Man at Step Pyramid in Cairo, Egypt

The Step Pyramid of King Djoser at Saqqara was built around 2,650 BC. It is considered to be Egypt’s first pyramid. The ancient structure is over 200 feet tall and consists of six external levels. Underground it is more impressive. There is a network of chambers, tunnels and galleries traversing over three miles. This camel seems to be smiling with pride. Or was he puckering up for a kiss from his Egyptian owner?

Pyramid of Djoser Saqarah, Al Badrashin, Giza Governorate, Egypt

3 Relief in Temple of Horus Sanctuary in Edfu, Egypt

The Temple of Horus on the Nile River was completed in 57 BC after 180 years of construction. It is considered to be the best preserved Ptolemaic temple in Egypt and is the second largest. The temple was dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god and the lord of the sky. The sacred sanctuary, where a statue of the deity was kept, is surrounded by golden reliefs. This one has two images of Horus. His left eye was the moon and the right was the sun. Also carved was an image of King Ptolemy IV Philopator. All pharaohs were considered to be incarnations of Horus. Between them is Hathor, the goddess of love and beauty.

The Temple of Horus at Edfu Adfo, Markaz Edfo, Aswan Governorate, Egypt

4 Great Sphinx and Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, Egypt

A short distance from Cairo is the country’s most iconic archeological treasures. The Great Sphinx was built around 2,500 BC. This 240 foot statue has the shape of a lion with the face of Pharaoh Khafre. The likeness is magnificent despite the missing nose. In the background is the Pyramid of Khufu. Also called the Great Pyramid, it is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids surrounding the Sphinx. This architectural marvel is over 450 feet tall and consists of 2.3 million limestone and granite blocks.

Great Sphinx of Giza Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt

5 Nile Lechwe Walking Along Nile River at Sunset near Kom Ombo, Egypt

The Nile flows over four thousand miles from Alexandria to Aswan. This distance makes it the world’s longest river. For Egyptian towns, this is the primary water source for transportation and farming. Its annual flooding supplies silt and irrigation creating a fertile path through the desert. Along the riverbanks, the farm buildings, practices, crops and free-roaming animals appear little changed since ancient times. This female Nile lechwe – an endangered species of antelope – was meandering along at sunset. I call this photo, “Rush Hour on the Nile.”

Kom Ombo Nagoa Ash Shatb, Markaz Deraw, Aswan Governorate, Egypt

6 Colossi of Memnon Statue of Amenhotep III with Hot Air Balloon near Luxor, Egypt

This is one of two huge, 1,000 ton statues of Amenhotep III called Colossi of Memnon. He was the King of Egypt from 1382 to 1344 BC. The pharaoh built a 4.2 million square foot temple in the ancient city of Thebai on the Nile’s west bank near Luxor. From 27 BC. until 130 AD., this 75 foot, quartzite block used to make bell sounds in the mornings. They are all that remain of the temple after it was washed away by the river.

Colossi of Memnon, Al Bairat, Luxor, Luxor Governorate, Egypt

7 Reclining Limestone Statue of Colossus of Ramesses II in Memphis, Egypt

Memphis, Egypt, was the capital city along the Nile’s west bank beginning in the Old Kingdom in the third millennium BC. It is now an open-air museum containing ruins, a sphinx, granite statues and monuments. The site’s main treasure is inside a two-story courtyard: a magnificent, 33 foot statue of the reclining Ramesses II. He reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC during the New Kingdom era. This stunning limestone statue is called the Colossus of Ramesses. It used to stand outside the God Ptah temple. His idealistic image includes the royal headdress called a nemes, the diadem headband and the uraeus cobra snake, plus his false, rectangular beard.

Memphis Mit Rahinah, Al Badrashin, Giza Governorate, Egypt

8 Introduction to Bath, England

Bath, England in Somerset County has about 90,000 residents. It is named for the hot springs that soothed the Romans during the 1st century. From the mid-18th century until the early 19th century, the coveted mineral waters transformed Bath into a major resort destination for the social elite. This sparked a major development boom featuring gorgeous Georgian architecture constructed with beige limestone. No wonder the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One look at this idyllic view along the River Avon should prompt you to add Bath to your bucket list.

Grand Parade, Bath BA2 4DF, UK

9 Palace of Westminster and Big Ben History in London, England

The first Palace of Westminster was built in 1016 as the Royal residence for English monarchs. After a fire in 1512, it was restored for the Houses of Parliament, a role it has maintained for over 500 years. Another major fire in 1834 required a second reconstruction managed by the architect Charles Barry. His Perpendicular Gothic design is 873 feet long and contains over 1,100 rooms. Yet the most iconic section of this seat of British politics is the Clock Tower, known affectionately as Big Ben. The golden limestone, Gothic Revival tower by Augustus Pugin stands 315 feet. Since 1987, the Palace of Westminster has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London SW1A 2PW, UK

10 Arriving at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England

Windsor Castle is a must-do day trip while visiting England. The 13-acre royal estate is about a half-hour train ride from London and then a short walk from Windsor Central Station. Your first glimpse is the western curtain wall constructed during the mid-13th century by King Henry III. This defense stands 100 feet and is 13 feet thick. On the left is Curfew Tower, a former medieval dungeon, built circa 1230. The belfry was originally part of the College of St. George and moved here in 1478. The clock was replaced in 1689. All of these features were restored in 1863. On the right is the Garter Tower. Its namesake is the knights of the Order of the Garter. Now hurry along. You haven’t come to the best parts yet.

Windsor SL4 1NJ, UK

11 Brief History of York Minster in York, England

Several churches stood on this site before York Minster. The earliest were finished in 627, 637, the late 8th century and 1080. Building of the current cathedral began in 1220 under the orders of the Archbishop of York, Walter de Gray. In 1472 – over 250 years later – it was considered finished. Throughout its history, it was plundered during the English Reformation, threatened by civil war, suffered from fires in 1829, 1840 and 1984 and been endangered of collapse. On each occasion, the treasured landmark was restored. Measuring 524 feet long and 222 feet wide, it is Northern Europe’s second biggest Gothic Cathedral. This matches the Archbishop of York’s second highest rank in the Church of England.

Deangate, Minster Yd, York YO1 7HH, UK

12 Boot Hill near Port Stanley in Falkland Islands

The United Kingdom’s claim of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands was challenged by Argentina in 1982. When the latter seized the island, they covered the beaches with landmines. The war with Britain lasted less than a month, but the mine fields where left behind. Efforts to clear approximately 25,000 of the buried explosives began in 2009. According to legend, when a local man lost his leg from one of these mines, he impaled a boot on a hill near Port Stanley. In sympathy, others repeated the gesture on what is now called Boot Hill.

Darwin Rd Stanley FIQQ 1ZZ, Falkland Islands, Islas Malvinas

13 Finnish National Theater in Helsinki, Finland

This National Romantic style building features a Finnish granite façade, cooper dome and flanking towers. When the theater was constructed in 1902, it gave a permanent home to a touring company of professional actors. The ensemble was established in 1872. Suomen Kansallisteatteri has been expanded a few times during its history. The Finnish National Theater now includes four stages, a studio and a night club.

Läntinen Teatterikuja 1, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

14 Palais de I’Isle Reflecting in Thiou Canal in Annecy, France

Sitting regally on a triangular island in the Thiou Canal is an equally triangular castle with thick stone walls resembling the bow of a ship. Apparently, after some of the major Parisian landmarks, the Palais de I’Isle in Annecy is one of the most photographed buildings in France.

Le Palais de I'lle 3 Passage de l'Île, 74000 Annecy, France

15 Intercontinental Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France

Cannes is a delightful resort town on the French Riviera along the Mediterranean coast. It is famous for hosting the annual film festival in May when actors and celebrities are invited to the screening of new movies. And the biggest stars and honored guests stay at the Carlton Hotel which is considered the epicenter for the event.

58 La Croisette, CS 40052, 06400 Cannes, France

16 Scenic Elevated View of Mediterranean from Éze, France

Some people theorized Éze is named after Avisio, a town that was here in 96 AD. The Latin word means viewpoint or panorama. Éze sits 1,400 feet high on the eastern edge of the French Riviera. On a clear day, you can see the famous resort towns of Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice. This photo’s view of the Mediterranean extends as far as Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This peninsula was a playground for kings and the wealthy during the 19th century.

20 Rue du Château, 06360 Èze, France

17 Bay of Angels Coastline in Nice, France

This gorgeous view of the Mediterranean coast in Nice epitomizes the French Riviera’s beauty. It is called Baie des Anges or Bay of Angels. I assumed it derived its name from the angelic atmosphere offered by the warm sunshine, the beaches and the promenades. However, the origin comes from the squatina angelus, a shark that has two fins shaped like angel wings. But don’t worry … it has not been seen in these waters since the 19th century.

11 Quai Rauba Capeu, 06300 Nice, France

18 Pavillon Richelieu and Louvre Pyramid at Palais du Louvre in Paris, France

It is so exciting to be standing next to the Louvre Pyramid and Pavillon Richelieu in the Napoleon Courtyard of the Palais du Louvre. Formerly a palace, the museum opened in 1793. It now has a collection of over 35,000 pieces spread across 14 acres of space. The Musée du Louvre welcomes nearly ten million visitors a year. Most people want to catch a glimpse of its famous resident, Mona Lisa.

10 Place du Carrousel, 75001 Paris, France

19 Basilique Notre-Dame de la Victoire in Saint-Ràphaël, France

In the Judeo-Christian religion, the Archangel Raphael is responsible for healing. He is also the namesake for Saint-Ràphaël which is a seaside town located near the center of the French Riviera. This is the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Victoire. The two bell towers, rose window and red, Esterel sandstone façade were built at the end of the 19th century. On top is a gilded statue of the Madonna holding the Christ Child.

158 Boulevard Félix Martin, 83700 Saint-Raphaël, France

20 Strasbourg Cathedral Main Portal in Strasbourg, France

The Gothic features of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg’s main portal are incredibly ornate. Most of the statues date back from the 13th to the 15th century. Below the giant rose window are rows of spires that crown the archivolt and tympanum. In the center of the pediment is the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg Place de la Cathédrale, 67000 Strasbourg, France

21 Château de Versailles Marble Courtyard in Versailles, France

What started as a royal hunting lodge of Louis XIII in 1623 evolved into the magnificent Château de Versailles. The palace was the prized residence of French monarchs until 1789 when Louis XVI was forced to flee at the start of the French Revolution. This is the opulent Marble Courtyard. The square greets visitors with the promise of more grandeur behind the golden façade. In back of the palace are elaborate gardens and the petit appartement of Marie-Antoinette. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth the train ride from Paris.

Cour de Marbre, 78000 Versailles, France

22 Theater Baden-Baden in Baden-Baden, Germany

Back in 1862, when Baden-Baden was reaching its pinnacle as a resort destination, this performing arts venue was built with a Belle Epoch architectural design. Since 1918, Theater Baden-Baden has continually had a professional ensemble of actors. The interior was completely renovated in 1992. Now plays are performed on three stages.

Goethepl. 1 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany

Berlin, Germany Composite of Five Photos

Five photos of Berlin, Germany are: Brandenburg Gate; the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum; Section of the Berlin Wall near Topography of Terror; Bode Museum on the northern end of Museum Island with boat on Spree River; and the Berlin flag.

23 Old Town of Dresden, Germany

You are admiring the pastel spectrum of Neumarkt in Old Town Dresden, Germany. A single day in this delightful city explains why it was once called the Jewel Box. For centuries, the capital of Saxony was renowned as a leader in culture and art housed in impressive Baroque and Rococo architecture. Tragically, within a few days during World War II, everything was destroyed. Everything! But as a testament to perseverance and 75 years of hard work, major landmarks have been meticulously rebuilt to reflect their prior glory. Dresden sparkles again. You will be captivated during every step.

Neumarkt, 01067 Dresden, Germany

24 Alte Oper Building in Frankfurt, Germany

This is Frankfurt Germany’s first opera house which is now called Alte Oper (Old Opera). It was the Opernhaus when it was built in 1880 but then destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombing. The building was rebuilt and opened as a concert hall in 1981. The German words under the pediment translate into: “To the true, the beautiful, the good.”

Opernplatz 1, 60313 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

25 Freiburg Minster Stained Glass Window in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

When the Freiburg Minster cathedral was built mostly in the 13th century, the local guilds donated the funds for the stained glass windows but insisted that their symbols be incorporated into these colorful works of art. For example, if you look closely below the image of the Madonna with Child, you will see a scissors representing the tailors’ guild. On the left is Mary Magdalene and on the right is St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Münsterplatz 10, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

26 Elevated View of Old Town in Heidelberg, Germany

Nestled in the Rhine Rift Valley between the Gaisberg and Königstuhl mountains is the medieval Old Town of Heidelberg, Germany. On the left is Holy Spirit Church. The Heiliggeistkirche is located in the market square and took 117 years to build from 1398 – 1515. Spanning the River Neckar is the Karl Theodor Bridge. However, it is usually referred to as the Alte Brücke or Old Bridge so named because it was finished in 1788. This view is from the Belvedere terrace outside the Heidelberg Castle.

Schlosshof 1a, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

27 Christ Church in Mainz, Germany

Until the French occupation in the late 18th century, Protestants were discriminated against by Catholics. But Napoléon Bonaparte declared freedom of religion and, about one hundred years later, the Christuskirche was finished in 1903. The Christ Church’s imposing, 262 foot dome and Renaissance Revival architecture makes it an impressive landmark in Mainz. It was heavily damaged by bombs in 1945 but reconstructed in 1954.

Kaiserstraße 56, 55116 Mainz, Germany

28 Historic District on Elbe River from Castle Hill in Meissen, Germany

Meissen, Germany, also known as the Cradle of Saxony, is famous for its porcelain. Atop a hill sits Albrechtsburg, a grand castle that was finished in 1525, and a cathedral. Below this perch, and nestled along the Elbe River, is the historic district. Many of the buildings have orange, beaver-tail tiles, Renaissance architecture and plenty of charm.

Domplatz 2 01662 Meissen, Germany

29 BMW Welt in Munich, Germany

Karl Rapp founded Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH in 1912 to produce aircraft. The company became Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works) in 1922. A year later, they created their first motorcycle. The initial car was manufactured in 1928. Since then, BMW has evolved into an international brand for luxury vehicles. BMW is headquartered in Munich and is the city’s largest employer with 35,500 people. Adjacent to their office building and factory is the BMW Welt. This futuristic showroom exhibits all current BMW models plus Rolls-Royces and Minis. The BMW Welt attracts about three million visitors a year.

Am Olympiapark 1, 80809 München, Germany

30 Ständehaus Now Higher Regional Court in Rostock, Germany

This stunning red brick, Neo-Gothic building in the Steintor-Vorstadt district was the Ständehaus Rostock when it was built in 1893. The House of the Estates served as the meeting house and administration offices for nobles, knights, land owners and the parliament until 1918. Today it is occupied by the Higher Regional Court of Rostock.

Wallstraße 3 18055 Rostock, Germany

31 Todtnauer Waterfalls from Footbridge in Todtnauberg, Germany

Surrounding the gorgeous Todtnauer Waterfalls is a series of paths and footbridges that allow you to explore it from several angles as it flows down the granite rocks towards the valley that’s situated between the towns of Atersteg and Todtnau. It is a refreshing way to spend a hot summer day with the family. This area has been protected as a monument since 1987.

Todtnauer Wasserfälle Haldenweide 79674 Todtnau, Germany

32 Porta Nigra City Gate in Trier, Germany

The Romans built Porta Nigra around 180 AD. While savoring its grandeur, you begin to appreciate why Trier claims to be Germany’s oldest city. Black Gate was one of four entrances to the fortified town. It is the sole survivor. The others were dismantled for building materials during the Middle Ages. Porta Nigra was reconstructed upon the orders of Napoléon Bonaparte in the early 19th century. The huge sandstone blocks without mortar stretch 75 feet wide and 90 feet tall.

Porta Nigra, Porta-Nigra-Platz, 54290 Trier, Germany

33 Esperanza Golden Statue along Harbor Entrance in Warnemünde, Germany

This elegant gilded sculpture at the end of the Ostmole (East Pier) was created by Ene Slawow in 2012. The 13 foot graceful woman reminded me of a siren from Greek mythology. They were lovely sea nymphs who lured mariners into the rocks with their sweet singing. The translation of her Spanish name means “Hope.” The locals have nicknamed her Puppi after its benefactor Eyk-Uwe Pap. Or you can just call her beautiful as she greets you at the entrance of the Warnemünde small boat harbor.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany

34 Pillars of Hercules on Rock of Gibraltar in Gibraltar

Hercules was a Roman god known for his exceptional strength. According to mythology, one of his incredible feats while performing the Twelve Labours was to smash through a mountain range connecting Europe and Africa. This created the Strait of Gibraltar. The water passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is 36 miles long. A promontory in both Morocco and Gibraltar are called the Pillars of Hercules. This monument recognizes the Northern Pillar on The Rock. The relief of the world suggests Hercules’ act also created a portal to the New World. Up until then, people believed the earth ended here.

Queen's Rd & Engineer Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar

35 Tourist District on Harbour Drive in George Town, Grand Cayman

George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands and the tourist center. Most of the bars, restaurants and shops face the waterfront along Harbour Drive. The few historic government buildings are located a block or two away. It will not take long to cover the town on foot. So consider exploring more of what Grand Cayman has to offer. The island is only 22 miles long and four miles wide. It is easy to see and enjoy as part of an excursion package, private tour or taxi ride.

Cardinal Ave & Harbour Drive, George Town, Cayman Islands

36 Saint Theodore Lighthouse near Argostoli, Greece

The Lighthouse of Saint Theodore was constructed at the command of Charles Napier while he was the British High Commissioner of Kefalonia during the early 19th century. After it was destroyed in 1953, the Fanari was rebuilt within seven years following its original circular design surrounded by 20 Doric columns. The popular light stands 26 feet tall at the end of a short, rocky peninsula.

Lantern St. Theodore Argostoli 281 00, Greece

37 Temple of Olympian Zeus Description in Athens, Greece

Let’s start your tour of ancient Athens in a large open field measuring 820 by 426 feet. In the center is another rectangular space defined by a low marble wall. This is the footprint of the former Temple of Olympian Zeus. The colossal Greek temple was 362 by 143 feet, qualifying as one of the largest ever built during antiquity. The first Zeus sanctuary dates from 550 BC. The second was started in 515 BC but ended five years later. In 174 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the king of the Seleucid Empire, resumed the project. A decade later, work on the half-finished temple ended again. Finally, the Olympieion was completed nearly 650 years later in 132 AD and dedicated by Roman emperor Hadrian (reign 117 – 138). The glorious temple was destroyed during the Sack of Athens in 267 AD. Most of the materials were carried off for other construction. Today, all that remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus is a cluster of Corinthian columns.

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athina 105 57, Greece

38 Old Fortress and New Fortress in Corfu, Greece

Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea and also the name of its largest city. The Old Fortress in the center dates back to the 6th century during the Byzantine Period when this town was called Koryfo (means summit) or Corcyra in Latin. The early fortification was expanded during the 12th century, significantly replaced during the Republic of Venice’s rule from 1386 – 1797 and then extensively modified by the British. The Venetians also constructed the New Fortress on the left during the mid-16th century. Most of what is seen today was constructed while Corfu was a protectorate of the United Kingdom from 1815 until 1864. Both fortifications are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This view from the Bay of Garitsa makes it easy to see why the Greek’s call this Kastropolis or Castle City.

Ikoumenikou Patriarchou Athinagora, Kerkira 491 00, Greece

39 Athenian Treasury in Delphi, Greece

There were several treasuries in Delphi. The small yet elaborate structures were constructed by different Greek states. The buildings safeguarded valuables for temple offerings plus housed materials used by visiting embassies. The most famous example is the Athenian Treasury. The marble Doric structure was built around 500 BC. Among the 40 metopes (square panels below the pediment) are bas-reliefs of Herakles (Hercules) and Theseus (a mythical king and Athenian hero). The carvings celebrate Athens’ victory in 490 BC over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. The Athenian Treasury you see at a bend in the Sacred Way is a replica. The original is inside the Delphi Archaeological Museum.

Ancient Delphi, Delphi 330 54, Greece

40 Weathered Fishing Boat at Old Port Harbor in Mykonos, Greece

A Greek jewel in the Aegean Sea is Mykonos Island. Its white-washed buildings, cobble-stone streets, windmills, pristine beaches and active night life are a magnet for tourists. Next to the main town of Chora is the Old Port Harbor. Here you’ll find weathered fishing boats and Agios Nikolaos Church which has the blue dome in the background.

Mykonos Waterfront, Mikonos 846 00, Greece

41 Tendering into Skala on Patmos, Greece

The island of Patmos is a popular port-of-call during cruises of Greece and Turkey. Most large ships anchor in the natural harbor and tender their passengers into the town of Skala. Plan to disembark early. Although the island is small, there is plenty to see. Among the highlights are an 11th century monastery resembling a castle, a cave where the Book of Revelation was written, scenic overlooks next to picturesque windmills plus charming, cobblestone streets filled with whitewashed buildings.

Patmos Harbour, Skála, Patmos 855 00, Greece

42 Description of Hosios Loukas Monastery near Steiri, Greece

There are two churches on the 3.5 acre complex of Hosios Loukas Monastery. The earliest was the Church of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), built in the mid-10th century. The second – this domed cathedral called Katholicon – was finished in 1012. The middle-Byzantine façade features pairs of arched windows separated by marble mullions. The walls are a combination of brick, marble and stone. This type of Roman masonry is called opus mixtum. The interior is filled with Macedonian Renaissance frescos and mosaics with gold backgrounds. They are the best examples in Greece of this style of Christian artwork from the 10th and early 11th century. You will admire more frescos in the crypt were Saint John is buried.

Hosios Loukas, Steiri 321 00, Greece

43 Marquis Island from Marquis, Grenada

The sovereign state of Grenada consists of seven islands. Grenada is the largest and the southernmost of the chain. The coastlines are also dotted with islets. Most are uninhabited. A beautiful example is Marquis Island seen from the fishing village of Marquis. The long, tall and tree-lined island was once attached to the mainland. The National Park System maintains trails for hikers and birdwatchers. Divers enjoy exploring submerged sections of the island plus surrounding coral reef.

Eastern Main Rd, Marquis, Grenada

44 Brief History of Antigua, Guatemala

In 1524, Pedro de Alvarado became the first Spanish conquistador in Guatemala. As they subdued ingenious people for control, Spanish colonies were established. They collectively evolved into the Captaincy General and later the Kingdom of Guatemala. This administration division of the Spanish Empire covered most of Central America before it ended in 1821. Starting in 1543, their third successive capital became Santiago de los Caballeros. The colonial city flourished as the population swelled to over 60,000 people. Lavish municipal and religious buildings were constructed for over two hundred years. Then several earthquakes struck in the 18th century until nearly everything was reduced to rubble during the Santa Marta Earthquakes of 1773. Within three years, the capital was moved, the city was largely vacated and renamed Antigua Guatemala meaning old.

Parque Central, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

45 Boy Watching Waterfalls at La Paz Waterfall Gardens in San José, Guatemala

Near the Poás National Park in San José, Guatemala is the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It includes two miles of walking paths through a rain forest and has five waterfalls. The scenery is spectacular. It also includes animal exhibits and a large butterfly garden. The area was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 2009 but has since been rebuilt.

La Paz Waterfall, 126, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

46 Introduction to Budapest, Hungary

This is the “Pearl of Danube.” What a jewel it is! The stunning cityscape of the West Bank was originally Buda and Óbuda before merging with Pest on the East Bank in 1873. Budapest is consistently ranked among the prettiest and top European cities to live, work and visit. The ferry boat is floating towards the iconic Chain Bridge. The tall spire on Castle Hill is Matthias Church. The white, Neo-Romanesque towers in the center are part of Fisherman’s Bastion. The terrace offers the best panoramic view of the Pest side.

Budapest, Apáczai Csere János u. 12, 1052 Hungary

47 Contrasting Architecture in Eger, Hungary

The architecture in the Belváros section (old town) reflects its illustrious history. Eger’s first castle where this photo was taken dates back to the mid-13th century. On the right is the Ottoman Minaret, evidence of the Turkish occupation in the 17th century. Most city landmarks were built during the prosperous 18th century when Baroque design was fashionable. The Minorite Church in the center is the best example. The proliferation of this style led to Eger’s nickname, “The Baroque Pearl of Europe.” In 1836, the Cathedral of Eger on the left was finished. The Basilica’s Neoclassical appearance by architect József Hild features two, 177 foot towers flanking a 59 foot wide dome.

Vár 10 Eger, 3300 Hungary