World Tour 3: Grand Cayman thru Malaysia

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.

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1 Beach at Alternative Cruise Ship Dock in Savannah, Grand Cayman

Cruise ships going to Grand Cayman typically arrive at George Town. When the Caribbean waves are rough, many ships are turned away while a lucky few anchor off the southern shore. This alternative port in Savannah is stark, congested and not convenient to tourist sites. Yet there is one refreshing advantage: after touring the largest of the Cayman Islands all day in the bright sunshine, a quick dip in the water near Spotts Public Beach is heavenly. Plans were approved in 2015 to build a new, $200 million cruise ship terminal.

Spotts Beach Shamrock Rd, Savannah, Cayman Islands
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2 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
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3 Temple of Olympian Zeus Columns in Athens, Greece

In Greek mythology, the king and father of all gods is Zeus who received the gift of lighting and thunder from a Cyclopes and ruled the sky while his siblings Poseidon and Hades controlled water and the underworld respectively. The Olympian Zeus sanctuary in Athens, Greece was built in his honor. Construction of the huge temple began in 515 BC and was finally complete by Roman Emperor Hadrian over 600 years later. It was destroyed by a Germanic tribe in 267 AD. These 55 foot, marble, Corinthian columns are the few that remain from the original 104.

Dionysiou Areopagitou & Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias, Athina 105 57, Greece
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4 Old Fortress From Garitsa Bay in Corfu, Greece

This view of the Old Fortress from Solomos Square along Garitsa Bay shows how enormous it is: 1,968 feet long and 656 feet wide. The huge wall in the foreground is one of two bastions flanking its main gate. They are named Martinego and Savorgnan after the engineers who designed them. The Greek temple is St. George’s church. At the peak is a lighthouse called Castel a Terra. On the left is a bell tower. This fort survived three attacks by the Ottomans during the Sieges of 1537, 1571 and 1716.

Agoniston Politechniou, Kerkira 491 00, Greece
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5 Athenian Treasury at Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece

The Sanctuary of Apollo, the god of the sun, music and poetry, is in Delphi. When Apollo, who was the son of Zeus, killed a giant serpent named Python with his arrow in 586 B.C., the first Pythian games celebrated his victory. This evolved into the Olympics. The ruins at this site, once considered the center of the world, date from the 6th to 4th century B.C. They include temples, a theater, a stadium, altars and more. This is the Athenian Treasury, a gorgeous Doric marble structure. It housed the spoils from the 490 B.C Greek victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.

Treasury of Athens, Delfi 330 54, Greece
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6 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
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7 St. John the Theologian Mosaic at Monastery on Patmos Island, Greece

After the crucifixion of Jesus, his apostle John was banished to the Greek island of Patmos where he wrote the final chapter of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, in the Cave of Apocalypse. In 1088, an Asia Minor monk named Hosios Christodoulos acquired the island and built a monastery to Saint John the Devine in the town of Chorá while also preserving the cave. This mosaic symbolizes the monk gifting the monastery to Saint John.

Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, Patmos 855 00, Greece
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8 San Francisco el Grande Church in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua was once the glamorous capital of Guatemala before two devastating earthquakes in the 1700s left it mostly abandoned. Now the ruins are a tourist attraction. Within eight-by-eight blocks, a visitor can walk along the narrow, cobblestone streets to see the remains of former churches, arches and plazas plus convents and monasteries. A stunning example is the San Francisco Church with its twisted columns, religious statues and bell towers. This Spanish-American Baroque monastery was built in 1702 and destroyed in 1773.

San Francisco el Grande, Calle de los Pasos 6, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
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9 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
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10 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
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11 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
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12 Panoramic View of Gullfoss on Golden Circle, Iceland

The visual climax of Golden Circle is Gullfoss, the best waterfall in Iceland and frequently rated among the world’s top ten. From its origin at the Langjökull Glacier, the Hvítá River flows for 25 miles before reaching this arrowhead-shaped fissure. This was carved by a glacier outburst about 10,000 to 13,000 years ago. Then the torrent of brown water cascades three times before seeming to disappear into the earth. This sensational view from near the visitor center is enhanced by dancing rainbows. You can enjoy this dramatic display of nature for free.

Gullfoss, 801 Selfossi, Iceland
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13 Gunnuhver Hot Springs at Geopark on Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland

Gunnuhver Hot Springs is a spectacular display of geothermal activity at the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark. The closer you get along the boardwalk, the more you are awed by the thundering power of the boiling water within its 65 foot wide fissure and the giant fog of scalding, thick steam. The namesake is an 18th century woman. Locals suspected Gudrun (or Gunna) was a witch. Her ghost was accused of killing a judge and terrorizing the peninsula until tricked into falling in this cauldron.

Möðruvellir 4, Möðruvallavegur, Iceland
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14 Gatklettur Arch Rock at Arnarstapi on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

As you walk towards the coastline of Arnarstapi, the stunning beauty of Gatklettur is revealed. You will stare at it in awe. Arch Rock features a stone bridge over a circular opening created by the sea. The azure waters of northern Faxa Bay can be calm and transparent or have violent, crashing waves.

Gatklettur, Arnarstapavegur, Arnarstapi, Iceland
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15 Observing Powerful Skógafoss in South Iceland

One of Iceland’s most spectacular sites is Skógafoss. This powerful display (classified as a ledge and cataract waterfall) is 49 feet wide and plunges 197 feet. You can get very close to feel the incredible energy of the Skógá River as it cascades over the cliff that once loomed above the ocean; the coastline has since receded three miles away. Then climb about 500 steps to the elevated observation platform. This assent is also the start of Fimmvörðuháls, a popular 14 mile hiking trail winding between the Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull glaciers.

Skógafoss, Skogar, 861 South Iceland
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16 Atlantic Puffin at Stórhöfði on Heimaey in Westman Islands, Iceland

Sometimes it is unexplainable why a place or thing is high on your bucket list. So was my quest to photograph an Atlantic puffin while in Iceland. Immediately after disembarking the ferry to Heimaey, I drove my rental car to the southernmost tip off the island. The cliffs surrounding Stórhöfði hosts the world’s largest colony of common puffins from mid-April through August. These birds are adorable. Standing only eight inches tall with a 21 inch wingspan, their colorful beaks and triangular eyes accented with a red ring makes them appear like an animated Disney character.

Puffin Lookout, Stórhöfði, Iceland
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17 Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India

Near the Gateway of India on Mumbai’s harbor is the five-star Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. It has hosted world dignitaries and celebrities for over 100 years. A few weeks after our visit in 2008, terrorists conducted 12 attacks around the city, killing 167 people. 31 of them died in this hotel when it was seized and burned during a three-day gun battle. It has since been restored.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India
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18 Abandoned Fishing Boats at Low Tide in Port Blair, India

A welcome sign declares Port Blair to be the gateway to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Home to an Indian Navy and Coast Guard base, these islands are in the Andaman Sea and closer to Thailand than India. Near Haddo Wharf, however, was a less impressive fleet. These abandoned fishing boats emerged from the mud during low tide.

02 Foreshore Rd, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744102, India
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19 Desmond Castle in Adare, Ireland

Desmond Castle’s history is as intriguing as its reflection on the River Maigue is beautiful. Although parts of it were built during the 13th century, the Fitzgeralds are credited with most of its construction. This was a Welsh-Norman family who became powerful feudal leaders in Ireland and given the title Earls of Kildare during the 14th century. Their reign ended after an unsuccessful insurrection against King Henry VII of England in 1536. The Adare Castle was then transferred to the Earls of Desmond. They in turn launched two unsuccessful rebellions against the crown. Their stronghold was seized by Queen Elizabeth I’s troops circa 1570. Its final demise came in 1657 when it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s army. Sections were restored during the late 1990s. Tours of the medieval castle can be arranged from the Heritage Centre from June through September.

N21 Limerick Road, Gortaganniff, Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
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20 Riverside View of Custom House in Dublin, Ireland

A previous custom house was built in 1707 along Essex Quay. It was replaced in 1791 with this neoclassical building constructed with Portland stone and designed by James Gandon. The Custom House served as a dock and warehouse for vessels plus conducted custom and excise taxation services. Now it offices the Department of Environment and Community plus other local government functions. The landmark has a commanding view of the River Liffey from its position on the north bank.

16 George's Quay, Dublin, Ireland
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21 The Long Walk in Galway, Ireland

The Long Walk is a row of colorful buildings stretching along the river towards Galway Bay. They were constructed during the 18th century by descendants of John Eyre. He was a captain in Oliver Cromwell’s army. After they conquered Galway in 1652, the Eyre of Eyrecourt acquired considerable property in the city. The land was handed down for generations. This quay is now an Architectural Conservation Area. The graceful mute swan is swimming towards Claddagh, a former fishing village.

7 Claddagh Quay Galway, Ireland
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22 History of Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny, Ireland

The first tower built along the bluff overlooking the River Nore was a motte and bailey design constructed towards the end of the 12th century by Richard de Clare. Also known as Strongbow, he was a Norman lord and the 2nd Earl of Pembroke. His son-in-law and very successful knight, William Marshall, is credited with building this marvelous castle. It was finished in 1219, six years before he died as the British Isles’ second richest man. After a period of ownership by Gilbert De Bohun, the elaborate citadel transferred to James Butler in 1391. The Butler family maintained ownership until Arthur Butler sold it to the city in 1967. The rose garden in the foreground is part of the 49 acre estate.

The Parade, Collegepark, Kilkenny, Ireland
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23 Stone Amphitheater at Cliffs of Moher near Liscannor, Ireland

You are immediately impressed at your first glimpse of the Cliffs of Moher. As you walk south along the edge, the views get more incredible. Nature spent 300 million years dating back to the Carboniferous Period carving this amphitheater of Namurian shale and sandstone. At the base is a network of water caves. No wonder this has been the location of numerous movies such as “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “The Princess Bride.”

Ballard Rd Lislorkan North, Co. Clare, Ireland
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24 Ladies View along the Ring of Kerry, Ireland

One of the most picturesque landscapes along N71 is at Ladies View. In the foreground is Upper Lake, the smallest of the three Lakes of Killarney within Killarney National Park. What looks like a river in the background is called Long Range. It channels the flow to Lough Leane and Muckross Lake at the Meeting of the Waters. This lookout acquired its name after the personal assistants to Queen Victoria admired the scenery during Her Majesty’s visit in 1861.

N71 Ladies View Derrycunihy Derrycunihy, Co. Kerry, Ireland
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25 Dome of the Rock in Moonlight on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel

The Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel is of historical and religious significance to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Built on the Temple Mount in 691 AD, its dome is covered by an aluminum bronze alloy with gold. The greatest significance is inside. The Foundation Stone (the Rock) represents the spiritual joining of Heaven and Earth. This famous landmark is maintained by the Jordanians.

Dome of the Rock, Old City, Jerusalem
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26 Greek Temple of Concordia in Agrigento Sicily, Italy

At the tip of Italy’s boot is Sicily. It is one of the most diverse islands in the world. In addition to great food and wine, it has mountains, an active volcano, mining, forests, rivers, farming, dry lands and beautiful coasts, all scattered among quaint towns and major cities. But most of all it has history that dates back 10,000 years. An example is The Valley of Temples in Agrigento along the southern coast. Here are seven Greek temples built in the Doric style from the ancient city of Akragas. My favorite is Concordia from 167 BC. This Roman goddess was responsible for agreeable marriages.

Temple of Concordia, Via Giuseppe la Loggia, 92100 Agrigento AG, Italy
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27 Ponte Vecchio East Side and Arno River in Florence, Italy

Begin exploring Florence early in the morning before the tourists arrive. The scenery is magical as evident by this scene from Lungarno degli Archibugieri (north riverbank). Watch a rower glide along the Arno. Overlook an art class painting Ponte Vecchio. This 105 foot, stone arch span was constructed in 1218 and rebuilt in 1345. This bridge is the only one to survive World War II and the devastating flood of 1966. Wow, this Florence icon is gorgeous!

Ponte Vecchio, 33 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
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28 San Michele in Foro Façade Detail in Lucca, Italy

High on top of the San Michele in Foro sits a 13 foot sculpture of the Archangel Michael. This Roman Catholic basilica in Lucca, Italy was dedicated to him when it was commissioned to be rebuilt in the late 11th century by Pope Alexander II. The original structure was a Roman forum dating back to the late 8th century. This exquisite marble façade was added during the 12th century.

Piazza San Michele 1, 55100 Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
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29 Madonna Della Lettera in Messina, Italy

The gilded statue on a 197 foot pedestal is Madonna della Lettera. Since it was erected in 1934 on a breakwater at Forte del Santissimo Salvatore, the 23 foot monument has been a proud testament to the Virgin Mary. In 42 AD, she sent a Holy Letter to Messina citizens after they were converted to Christianity by Apostle Paul and then followed him to Palestine to visit her. The inscription at the base was the last sentence of her letter. It means, “We Bless You and The City.”

Via S. Raineri 98122 Messina ME, Italy
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30 Leaning Tower of Pisa and Duomo in Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was built from 1173 to 1372 as a freestanding bell tower behind the Pisa Cathedral, a portion of which is on the left. From this angle you can see how much the tower still tilts despite the 1990 through 2001 restoration that corrected it to within four degrees. But this could also be partially an optical illusion because the Duomo is also leaning.

Piazza del Duomo 1, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
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31 Building of Eumachia at Forum in Pompeii, Italy

During the 1st century, Eumachia was the daughter of a prominent banker named Lucius Caecilius Lucundus. She became independently wealthy on her own merits. As part of several philanthropic acts, the priestess funded this building along the eastern edge of the Forum. It was dedicated to Concordia of Augusta. The large structure housed the fuller’s guild. A fullo was a worker who either spun or washed cloth.

Forum at Pompeii, Via Villa dei Misteri 3, 80045 Pompei NA, Italy
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32 Andrea Doria Castle and Fishing Boat in Portovenere, Italy

Perched high above the colorful buildings and fishing boats that line the shore in Portovenere, Italy, is the Andrea Doria Castle. Built by a wealthy Genoese family in 1161 and named after an admiral, the pentagonal shape is now in partial ruins but it provides a spectacular, panoramic view of the Gulf of La Spezia. This Cinque Terre town makes a perfect, one-day visit.

Via Olivo, 17 19025 Portovenere SP, Italy
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33 Fisherman Along Harbor in Rapallo, Italy

Rapallo is a lovely northern Italian resort town along the Ligurian Sea and a short drive from Genoa. It is blessed with moderate, year-round weather, a picturesque harbor, historic sites, excellent shopping and seafood restaurants plus one of Italy’s oldest golf courses. Or you can just sit along the rocks, cast out your fishing line and enjoy the view.

Lungomare Vittorio Veneto 1, 16035 Rapallo GE, Italy
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34 Panoramic View of Roman Forum in Rome, Italy

This panoramic view from west to east will orient you to the Roman Forum. The elevated landmarks you see on the left are: Temple of Antoninus and Faustina (141 AD), Temple of Romulus (307 AD), Column of Phocas (608 AD) and Santa Francesca Romana (10th century) and the church’s campanile (bell tower). From the middle two columns to the right are: Arch of Titus (81 AD), Temple of Vesta (7th Century BC), Temple of Castor and Pollux (495 BC) and Basilica Julia (46 BC). Collectively they represent over 2,500 years of ancient Roman architecture.

Via del Tulliano 00186 Roma RM, Italy
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35 Casino Municipale di Sanremo in San Remo, Italy

Since it opened in 1905, the Municipal Casino in San Remo, Italy, has become famous for its prestigious and refined gambling plus its origin of the stud poker game called Telesina. Interesting, in 1924, the dictator Mussolini closed every Italian gambling facility, except this one. Also behind this Liberty style façade is the Ariston Theater which offers concerts, plays and opera performances.

Corso Imperatrice, 15 18038 Sanremo IM, Italy
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36 Romantic Couple in Gondola on Canal in Venice, Italy

The perfect, romantic fantasy is snuggling next to your partner while floating in a gondola through the narrow canals of Venice such as this one named Rio de San Luca. Too often, living a dream falls short of your imagination. But this reality is one experience that you will always fondly remember.

S. Marco, 4231, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
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37 Main Keep of Hiroshima Castle in Hiroshima, Japan

In 1589, Mōri Terumoto (a feudal lord or daimyō) commissioned this castle while the settlement was called Gokamura (five villages). He renamed the area Hiroshima meaning “wide island.” For nearly twenty years, “Carp Castle” was occupied by Fukushima Masanori before serving twelve generations of the Asano family from 1619 until the end of the feudal system in 1871. It was then a military base when destroyed by the atomic blast in 1945. Only this five-story main keep (tenshu) was reconstructed following the original Azuchi-Momoyama design. Inside of Hiroshima Castle is a simple yet fascinating museum.

21 Motomachi, Naka Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 730-0011, Japan
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38 Earthquake Memorial Park at Meriken Park in Kobe, Japan

Two events have virtually destroyed Kobe. The first was during World War II air raids. The second was the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. This 6.9 magnitude tremor killed almost 6,500 people and injured another 43,000. 120 of the 150 quays at Port Kobe were damaged or destroyed. These leaning lampposts along crippled Meriken Wharf were retained as part of the Earthquake Memorial Park. To learn more about this local disaster, visit the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum a short distance away.

2 Hatobachō, Chūō-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken 650-0042, Japan
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39 Main Gate at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha was established in 711 at Mount Inari as the first shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Today, Japan has over 30,000 shrines honoring Inari. This is the primary one. Your excitement will build as you approach the entrance and see the first magnificent building in the background: Rōmon. According to legend, Japanese lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi commissioned the Tower Gate in 1589 after his prayers to Inari Ōkamito were answered to cure his ailing mother. This structure is also known as Sakura-mon meaning Plum Blossom Gate.

Japan, 〒612-0882 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Fushimi Ward, Fukakusa Yabunouchicho
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40 Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima, Japan

The Itsukushima Shrine was founded in 593 by Saeki Kuramoto. He considered the island to be a deity (kami). Hence the name: Itsukushima means “Island of Worship.” The Main Shrine was built in 1168 using a shinden-zukuri syle and reconstructed in 1571. Throughout its history, sailors and fisherman have prayed here to the three daughters of Susano-o no Mikoto, the goddesses of the sea, transport and fortune. The Main Shrine is connected to the Marodo and Tenjin Shrines plus the Noh Theatre. They are all painted a bright vermillion to ward off evil and disease. They are also built on piers to accommodate the ebbs and flows of the changing tide. In the background are the Toyokuni Shrine and the Five-storied Pagoda.

Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture 739-0588, Japan
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41 72 Sages Statues at Confucian Shrine in Nagasaki, Japan

At Confucian Shrine (Kōshi-byō) at Nagasaki are life-size figures of Confucius disciples. The 72 Sages reached the state of perfection by mastering the Six Arts, the core of Confucian teachings. The 1.8 ton statues stand in front of two corridors called Ryobu. Inside are the Marble Stones of the Analects with the inscriptions of the famous philosopher’s written words. The lion is one of two guarding the stairs leading to Taisei Hall. Each shíshī (stone lion) weighs 2.4 tons. This female is depicted playing with a cub; the male version has his paw on a sphere.

10-36 Ouramachi, Nagasaki, 850-0918, Japan
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42 Introduction to Tokyo, Japan

Welcome to Japan’s capital and the world’s most populated metropolitan area with about 38 million people across its 23 special wards. Its list of accolades seems endless: first in global economic power; home to the most Fortune Global 500 companies; most livable city; number one in safety; and first in shopping, nightlife, cleanliness plus overall experience. While gazing over this cityscape, you would expect the street level to be crowded and chaotic. Just the opposite. You will find the Japanese to be serene, friendly, helpful and justifiably proud as you explore their countless landmarks and attractions.

2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
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43 Single Tree on Citadel Hill in Amman, Jordan

The Hill of the Citadel in Amman, Jordan, can trace its history back to the New Stone Age or the Neolithic period around 7500 BC. Once named Rabbath Ammon, it was attack by King David of Israel in the 10th century BC and was subsequently ruled by many Middle Eastern powers. In the third century BC, it was called Philadelphia after a Ptolemaic ruler. Today, the mostly Roman ruins include the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church and a mosque. On the pinnacle of this historic hill or jabal stands a single, stoic tree that grows in solid rock and is a sentry to current history.

Amman Citadel K. Ali Ben Al-Hussein St. 146, Amman, Jordan
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44 Arch of Hadrian in Ancient Jerash, Jordan

Jerash, originally called Gerasa, was a major city in Jordan. Some believe it was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC or at least began to grow significantly in the early 4th century. Hadrian’s Arch is the spectacular entrance. Historically, commoners walked through one side while the other arch was reserved for nobles. Regardless of how you pass through, you will immediately feel the grandeur of ancient Roman times. The streets are lined with endless columns. Also impressive are two amphitheaters, a forum, a hippodrome and temples.

Arch of Hadrian, 20 Wasfi At-Tal, Jerash, Jordan
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45 The Treasury Carved into a Cliff in Petra, Jordan

Al-Khazneh is a magnificent example of 1st century Nabataean architecture and the most photographed façade in Jordan. The 141 foot tall Treasury was carved into a massive cliff along the valley of Wadi Musa. Some believe this Valley of Moses is near where the prophet miraculously drew water from a rock during the Exodus. The Treasury is also where Harrison Ford sought the Holy Grail during the climax of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

Al-Khazneh al-Siq St, Petra, Jordan
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46 Profile of Very Old Monk in Ban Xang Hai in Laos

When I gestured to this elder monk whether I could take his photo, he stood there calmly without a word or emotion. I was mesmerized by his inner peace and the wisdom etched on his face. He clearly had reached the Fourth Path of a Buddhist monk called Arhat which, among many other things, is characterized by a constant feeling of good will for all beings.

Ban Xang Hai, Laos
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47 Monks Collecting Offerings During Sai Bat in Luang Prabang, Laos

Each morning before dawn, hundreds of monks walk single file in their saffron robes along the streets of Luang Prabang collecting alms from local people while distributing food into the baskets of the poor. Even the neighborhood dogs join this tradition in hopes that some sticky rice will fall their way.

Haw Pha Bang, Sisavangvong Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
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48 Bock Ruins and Alzette River Falls in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Since the Roman times, the city of Luxembourg has a very long history of building forts and being conquered. The most significant period of fortification growth occurred under French King Louis XIV. He commissioned Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban to manage 3,000 workers to build 160 fortresses in the city from 1685 through 1688, thus earning it the nickname the “Gibraltar of the North.” Much of the defenses blew up in a 1554 gunpowder explosion. The citadel was further dismantled after Luxembourg became an independent state in 1867. However, some of the ruins can still be explored.

10 Montée de Clausen, 1343 Luxembourg
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49 Vianden Castle’s Fortified Wall in Vianden, Luxembourg

This close up view of the Vianden Castle is from the courtyard. Behind this fortified wall are the lower and upper chapels, the latter which has an interesting history. In the 12th century, the parishioners of Vianden had to attend mass in Germany at the Basilica of Roth. After the chapel was built, the German archbishop became so angry that he had Henry I, who was known as the Sun Count, excommunicated in Rome.

Vianden Castle Montée du Château, 9408 Vianden, Luxembourg
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50 Panca Rupa at Dhammikarama Burmese Temple in Pulau Tikus, Malaysia

An intriguing display at the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple is named Guardian Protectors of the World. The two creatures holding the globe combine the powerful features of several animals. These include the trunk and tusks of an elephant, the hooves of a horse, the scales of a carp, the face of a dragon (toenayar) and the wings of a garuda, the mythological king of birds. The Greek term for a multifaceted creature like this is a chimera.

24, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
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