World Tour 4: Malta thru Portugal

World Tour – 4 lets you keep globetrotting around the world. Whenever you arrive in a city, make sure to print the Encircle Photos travel guide and use the interactive map on your cell phone.

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1 Iconic Blue Mosque in Shah Alam, Malaysia

About a 45 minute drive from Kuala Lumpur is one of Malaysia’s most iconic sites: the Blue Mosque. It is located in Shah Alam, the capital city of the state of Selangor. This Islamic structure features four slender minarets. They each reach a height of 460 feet, making them the world’s tallest when construction ended in 1988. The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque is also Southeast Asia’s second largest mosque.

Blue Mosque, Persiaran Masjid St., 40000 Shah Alam, Malaysia
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2 Bridge, Moat and Main Gate at Mdina, Malta

The town of Mdina is approached by walking across this arched footbridge and over a former moat to the main gate. This handsome Baroque entrance, which was built in 1724, is the work of architect de Mondion. Your excitement builds as you pass through the archway and into the Middle Ages.

Mdina Rd, Attard, Malta
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3 Full Frontal View of Mosta Dome in Mosta, Malta

The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady dominates the center of Mosta, a small town of about 20,000 people in the center of Malta. When St Marija Assunta was consecrated in 1871, the town’s population was 90% smaller. So, it is a delightful surprise to see such gorgeous Neoclassical architecture here. Among its features are ten Ionic columns forming the portico, the pediment with its delicate reliefs and two flanking bell towers. Even more surprising? It has the world’s fourth largest unsupported dome! That is why the Roman Catholic church is proudly called The Mosta Dome.

Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta
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4 Couple Eating on St. Lucia Street in Valletta, Malta

Many of Malta’s towns have narrow and winding streets flanked by connected buildings. This layout was important for defense but also provides a breeze and a shadowed respite from the summer heat. However, when Valletta was planned in the 16th century, it followed a rectangular grid with wider roads. You can still find narrow terraced streets like St. Lucia that offer a romantic spot to take a break. One word of caution when navigating the city’s steps: the risers are taller than normal because they were designed to accommodate knights in heavy armor. In the background is St. Lucy, a Roman Catholic church built in 1570.

San Paolo Naufrago St. Lucia's Street, Valletta, Malta
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5 Saluting Battery in Valletta, Malta

This Saluting Battery points towards the Grand Harbour. It was called the Porto delle Galere when the Knights Hospitaller ruled Malta starting in 1565. The year before the Ottomans located cannons here so they could bombard Fort St. Angelo in the center. That fortress was a castle called Castrum Maris during medieval times. When the Turks were defeated in 1566, the Saints Peter and Paul’s Bastion was built. This vantage point from the Upper Barrakka Gardens gives you the best view of the guns when they are fired at noon and 4:00 every day. From here you can also see Fort Ricasoli on the distant left.

Upper Barrakka Gardens Triq Sant' Orsla, Valletta, Malta
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6 Fort Saint Louis in Fort-de-France, Martinique

The first governor of Martinique ordered the building of a fortress in 1638 to protect the island. It was rebuilt in 1669 and then suffered numerous attacks by the Dutch and British for nearly 150 years. During its history, it has been called Fort Edward, Fort Royal and Fort de la Republique. Today, Fort Saint Louis is an active base for the French National Navy although portions of the historic fort can be toured.

Boulevard Alfassa & D42 Fort-de-France, Martinique
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7 Crooked Coconut Tree at Salines Beach near Sainte-Anne, Martinique

Visiting a beach in Martinique is like spending a day on the French Riviera. The sand is flawless and stretches forever. The water is calm, warm and a beautiful shade of aquamarine. Families play together, couples go for a romantic stroll, seniors sit in the shade while young adults bask in the sun. And the sounds of the beautiful French language are everywhere.

Les 97227, Pnt des Salines, Sainte-Anne, Martinique
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8 Green Sea Turtle Swimming in Akumal, Mexico

Along the Riviera Maya on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico is the small town of Akumal. In Mayan this means “place of the turtle.” It is well named because you can swim along with green sea turtles at Akumal Bay. It is estimated they lay 70,000 eggs during their breeding season of May through October. At maturity they reach five feet and hundreds of pounds. Simply gorgeous! But look and don’t touch them or their habitat. They are endangered and their ecosystem is fragile.

1 Akumal Bay, 77710 Akumal, Q. R., Mexico
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9 El Arco at Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. At this junction is the impressive El Arco. The Arch is one of several mammoth rock formations at the Land’s End. El Finisterra (in Spanish) is an appropriate name because the next geography directly south is Antarctica. So get a boat or water taxi from the nearby marina, watch the passing dolphins during the short trip and then take the hint from the sunning sea lions by enhancing your tan on Playa del Amour (Lover’s Beach).

Ave Solmar #1A Col Centro, Marina, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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10 Wintertime Joy in Cancun, Mexico

It is easy to understand why this woman is happy: she is vacationing in Cancun. During the winter, the average daytime highs for sea and sunshine are 80 °F, the Caribbean Sea glistens as it laps along pristine beaches, plus air and hotel packages are abundant and reasonable. In addition, the nightlife is legendary yet the resorts cater to whatever style of R&R you seek. No wonder about five million tourists annually visit the northern part of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Playa Delfines, Blvd. Kukulcan, KM 18, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, QROO, Mexico
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11 Introduction to Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza is the most famous of the nearly 4,400 Mayan ruins across Mesoamerica. The former city with a peak population of 30,000 began in the 7th century during the Late Classic period. Within three hundred years, it expanded to about 15 square miles although less than a third has been excavated. For the next 200 years, it was influenced by the Itza civilization. After they were outcast in 1221, the site was mostly abandoned. Despite its remote location on the Yucatán Peninsula about a 2.5 hour drive from Cancun, Chichen Itza is a major tourist attraction. One look at its iconic El Castillo shows why it is worthy of its designations as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and among the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Chichen Itza Parking Lot, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, México
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12 Ixmoja Pyramid, Tallest Maya Temple in Northern Yucatán Peninsula

The Mayan civilization lasted more than 2,500 years and left behind over 4,000 archeological sites. The two most famous and visited ancient cities in the northern Yucatán Peninsula are Chichén Itzá and Tulum. However, the tallest pyramid in the region at 138 feet is Ixmoja at Coba, Mexico. Also called Nohoch Mul, this stepped pyramid measures almost 200 feet at the base. The surrounding ruins provide hints of what this city looked like when it was populated by 50,000 people.

Carretera Federal Tulum no. 307 Km. 47, 77793 Cobá, Q.R., Mexico
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13 Temple Pyramid at Chacchoben Mayan Ruins near Costa Maya, Mexico

The Mayan civilization began circa 2000 B.C. and extended through parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Seven significant ruin sites are in the state of Quintana Roo which includes resort cities like Cancun and Cozumel. This Maya ruin in the Yucatan is the stepped Temple Pyramid at Chacchoben near Costa Maya, Mexico. It was built around 700 A.D. and discovered in 1972.

Limones Mayan Ruin, Quintana Roo, Mexico
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14 Monument of Two Cultures in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico

A Spanish crew was shipwrecked off the Yucatán Peninsula coast in 1511. Of the 15 sailors enslaved by the Mayans, only two survived. The figure holding the spear is a tribute to one of them: Gonzalo Guerrero. He embraced the Mayan culture, married a princess named Zazil Ha and had three children. They were the first mestizos, a mix of European and Amerindian. Guerrero died in 1536 while defending against the Spanish. This Monument of Two Cultures is along the waterfront on Avenue Rafael Melgar.

Av. Rafael E. Melgar & Antonio González Fernández, Centro, 77600 San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico
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15 Old Woman Praying in Church in Mazatlan, Mexico

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mazatlán, Mexico is an ornately decorated Catholic Basilica. An old woman dressed in white chose a small side chapel to approach a statue of a saint. During her silent prayer, she was bathed in sunlight as if being blessed by God.

21 de Marzo & Calle Benito Juárez, Centro, 82000 Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico
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16 Sunrise Over Caribbean Sea at Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya is Mexico’s most eastern point so it welcomes the first break of dawn over the Caribbean Sea. At sunrise is the perfect time to stroll along the empty beach, feel the sand between your toes, smell the air, listen to the birds, watch the surf and admire the spectacular seascape as it glistens with shades of red and orange. What a great way to start another day on vacation.

Grand Bahia Principe Tulum Solidaridad, 77760 Tulum, QROO, Mexico
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17 El Castillo Full View at Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Mexico

Most of the Tulum’s buildings are short, boxy and devoid of ornamentation except for the city’s centerpiece: The Castillo. It was the largest building in Zamá but much smaller than several Mayan pyramids on the Yucatán Peninsula. Evidence suggests El Castillo was constructed in stages. The grand staircase leads to a platform at the temple entrance which is supported by upside-down serpent columns. At the corners are threatening masks borrowed from the Toltec culture. In the center is a craving of the Descending God, the deity believed to have been worshiped in this ancient Mayan community.

Carretera federal 307 Cancún - Chetumal Km 230, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
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18 Monte Carlo Casino Entrance in Monte Carlo, Monaco

Since 1869, the Casino de Monte-Carlo has generated so much money for the Principality of Monaco that the ruling Grimaldis stopped taxation. This action made Monte Carlo a tax haven and playground for the wealthy. Today, the residents are 80% to 90% foreigners and it has become one of the world’s most expensive places to live. This is probably okay because the country also has the most millionaires per capita. Ironically, no local residents are allowed inside the casino. You must present a foreign passport to gain entry.

Casino Monte Carlo, Place du Casino, 98000 Monaco
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19 Saint Nicholas Cathedral Front Façade in Monte Carlo, Monaco

The first Saint Nicholas church to be built on “The Rock” was in 1252. It was replaced by the Cathédrale de Monaco in 1875. It is called Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Officially, the name of this Roman Catholic church is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. A secondary patron saint is Saint Benoît. Benedict of Nursia lived in the 6th century and is also a patron saint of Europe and students. Their statues can be seen on either side of the cathedral’s entrance.

1A Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro 98000 Monaco
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20 Tourism Capital of Budva Riviera in Montenegro

One look at Budva and it is very easy to see why it has become the tourism capital of Montenegro. The Budvanska Rivijera offers the allure of a Medieval fortified town, beautiful beaches, a thriving nightlife, gambling in several hotels, cultural centers and a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine. No wonder it attracts over 40% of the country’s tourists.

[42.277636, 18.833921]
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21 Flowerboxes on Balcony Railing in Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is built from stone … stone walls, facades and streets. I don’t recall seeing a single blade of grass in the town. So it was refreshing to see how one resident decorated their ornamental iron railing with flowerboxes. What a perfect spot for this tiny touch of nature! Notice how the afternoon sun perfectly conforms to the balcony.

Hippo Ulica 2 (sjever-jug), Kotor, Montenegro
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22 Woman Strolling Waterfront in Perast, Montenegro

While strolling along Persat’s shoreline you will find numerous palaces previously owned by captains of the Venetian navy, shipbuilders and former elite families. During its history, this town had the prestigious Nautica naval college, was the home to four successful shipyards and harbored over 100 ships. You would hardly guess its illustrious past by seeing the modest boats tethered in the bay.

Muzej grada Perasta, Perast, Montenegro
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23 Butcher in Raw Meat Stand at Old Medina in Casablanca, Morocco

This butcher at Casablanca’s Old Medina was extremely proud of his display of skinned cow and lamb legs, hanging octopi and other raw, unidentifiable animal parts. He gave me his business card and requested a copy of this photo. I have no idea if he ever received it. The Old Medina is near Place des Nations Unies.

Avenue des Far & Boulevard Hassan I, Casablanca 20250, Morocco
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24 Leather Tannery in Fes el Bali at Fez, Morocco

The noxious stench of the Chouara tannery is bad. Yet it is nothing compared to watching the barbaric process of creating leather. The animal skins are first dried in the blistering, North African heat on roofs and balconies. Then they are bathed in pigeon excrement and animal urine. Next stop is to a honeycomb of stone vessels. Workers stand in the colored vegetable dye while soaking the hides along with their own arms, waist and legs. OSHA would not approve of the practices at the Tanners’ Quarter. However, the resulting leather goods are magnificent.

Morocco Tannery Shop, Fes, Morocco
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25 Madrasa al-Attarine Courtyard in Fes el Bali at Fez, Morocco

Located off a decrepit alley near a spice souk is this beautiful madrasa. The school for the Koranic religion was commissioned by a sultan from the Banū Marīn dynasty. His name was Abū Sa’īd Uthmān II and he reigned over Morocco from 1310 to 1331. In the courtyard is a masterpiece of architecture, with its mosaic ornate tiles, carved cedar wood and marble columns. In front of these arches (not in picture) is a checkerboard tile floor and fountain.

Al Attarine Madrasa, Rue Talaa Kebira, Fes, Morocco
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26 Dar Menebhi Palace Chandelier in Marrakech Museum in Marrakech, Morocco

The Dar Menebhi Palace was built in the late 19th century by its namesake, Mehdi Menebhi. In 1997, this former grand residence was restored and transformed into the Marrakech Museum. In the atrium is a stunning chandelier surrounded by exquisite checkerboard tiles, mosaics, carvings, columns and a fountain. At times, the beauty of the intricate Andalusian architecture overwhelms the museum’s Moroccan art. The collection also contains works by Jewish, Berber and Arabic artisans.

Marrakech Museum, Place de La Kissariat Ben Youssef, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
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27 I Amsterdam Sign and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam in the Netherlands has 800,000 people who ride 880,000 bicycles. It’s a charming, very walkable city of concentric canals. The Rijksmuseum in the background contains a million pieces of art, mostly from Dutch artists such as Rembrandt. Across the street are the giant, red and white “I amsterdam” letters that have become the city’s slogan. I suspect tourists have taken more smart-phone photos of their family and friends in front of this sign than any of the city’s wonderful architecture, historic landmarks (such as Anne Frank’s House) or cultural novelties (like the Red Light District).

Hobbemastraat 18, 1071 XZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
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28 Delft City Hall on the Markt in Delft, Netherlands

Netherland’s largest public square, which is called the Markt, is in the southern Dutch town of Delft. This community of 100,000 dates back to 1246. In its center is the City Hall, which was built in 1618 and has been restored several times. It’s now primarily used for weddings. The limestone tower in the background was a 13th century prison. It still houses torture equipment.

Markt 87, 2611 GW Delft, Netherlands
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29 Children Looking at Rijksmuseum at Madurodam Miniature Town in Scheveningen, Netherlands

Madurodam is a miniature town of the Netherlands’ most famous buildings. This park in Scheveningen, or The Hague district, offers a delightful, outdoor stroll around perfectly scaled replicas with intricate detail. These two children lean over a bridge to get a better look at the Rijksmuseum, which is a famous Dutch art and history museum in Amsterdam.

George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ Den Haag, Netherlands
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30 Bra Fence in Cardrona Valley, New Zealand

While driving in the Cardrona Valley in the countryside of Central Otago, we were startled and then amused by a fence covered with 800 bras. This visual oddity mysteriously started when four bras appeared on New Year’s Day, 2000. Soon more were added. As protests from the locals grew, so did its notoriety and the number of bras. Apparently we saw it near its peak (no pun intended). In 2006, this whimsical display of undergarments was removed by the city council. But do not despair. And endless row of female undergarments are now dangling in the breeze on a fence next to the Cardrona Distillery and Museum.

2125 Cardrona Valley Rd, Cardrona 9381, New Zealand
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31 Lake Moeraki Reflection in Haast, New Zealand

There are almost 4,000 lakes in New Zealand. Those near the Southern Alps seem as uninhabited and unspoiled as they were when first cut by glaciers. This gorgeous example is Lake Moeraki near Haast on the west coast of the South Island. Nearby is a rare Kiwi colony (think small bird with a long beak and not the fruit).

8756 Haast Hwy, Haast 7886, New Zealand
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32 Fur Seal Napping on Kaikoura Peninsula in Kaikaoura, New Zealand

This New Zealand fur seal is using a limestone rock as a pillow as he naps on the Kaikoura Peninsula in the northeast section of New Zealand’s South Island. When he opens his eyes, he has a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura mountains. Kaikoura is a quaint town of about 2,100 people. It has an active crayfish industry. The tourists love the boat rides to watch the sperm whales and dolphins.

40 Fyffe Quay, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
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33 Introduction to Milford Sound at Fiordland, New Zealand

The masterpiece of Fiordland National Park – New Zealand’s largest park – is Milford Sound. Piopiotahi (Māori name) is the northernmost of the fjords along the southwestern coast of New Zealand. This incredible 9.9 mile inlet of the Tasman Sea is defined by sheer summits like Mount Kimberley (The Lion) at 4,271 feet on the left, the snow-capped Mills Peak at 5,987 feet and the 3,966 foot Cascade Peak on the right. Savor the pristine scenery above water during a sightseeing cruise. Marvel at the waterfalls. Enjoy seeing dolphins, penguins, fur seals and whales in the water. And stop at Harrison Cove (center) to view marine life at 32 feet underwater at the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory. You will soon understand why Milford Sound is rated among the world’s top destinations.

Milford Sound, Southland 9691, New Zealand
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34 New Napier Arch at Art Deco Festival in Napier, New Zealand

Visiting Napier during the annual Art Deco Festival is like stepping back into the 1930s. The center of town is filled with stunning classic cars. An example is this 1936 Buick Roadmaster. During the Tremains Art Deco Festival 2018, this Series 80 Convertible was parked in front of the New Napier Arch in the background. It was one of three arches built in 1940 as a tribute to the citizens who not only endured the earthquake’s aftermath but worked together to rebuild a marvelous city. The inscription above this arch reads, “Courage is the thing: all goes if courage goes.”

60 Marine Parade, Napier 4110, New Zealand
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35 Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland, New Zealand

Dominating the tallest ridge at Auckland Domain is the impressive, Neoclassical façade of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The museum began in 1852 and now curates over four million items. As the name implies, inside are extensive exhibits devoted to military conflicts. But there is so much more to see and enjoy. The collection includes natural and social artifacts plus exhibits about the Māori people dating back over 1,000 years. The museum’s Māori name is Tāmaki Paenga Hira. Interestingly, a delegation of 80 Māori chiefs attended the museum’s opening in 1929. The Auckland Museum is New Zealand’s oldest and visited by over a half million people annually.

80 Cenotaph Rd, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
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36 Legend of Wellington Harbor in Wellington, New Zealand

Have a seat here at Chaffers Marina next to Clyde Quay Wharf. Watch the anchored sailboats gently bob and weave. Then read the history of Wellington Harbour. The Māori call it Te Whanganui a Tara. This means the “Great Harbour of Tara.” Tara was the first chief of the Ngai Tara. The tribe settled here in either the 12th or 13th century. According to their legend, the harbour was created by two sea monsters (taniwha). They were big as whales and resembled lizards. Whātaitai was gentle, mild and protective. Ngake was energetic, inquisitive and strong. When the siblings lived in the water in front of you, it was a large, fresh-water lake. Eager to escape to the ocean, Ngake tunneled through the earth until he reached Te Moana o Raukawa (today’s Cook Strait). As water rushed through the new opening, Whātaitai was caught in the eddy and washed ashore. After dying, the taniwha’s spirit became a bird named Te Keo. Now look at the hill behind you. Mount Victoria (Tangi Te Keo) and the ridge of Hataitai suburb is where the remains of the gentle monster turned to stone.

Chaffers Marina, 22 Herd St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
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37 Wide Angle of Dunedin Railway Station in Dunedin, New Zealand

One of the city’s many visual highlights is the Dunedin Railway Station. This marvelous Flemish Renaissance train terminal opened in 1906. At the south end is a 121 foot clock tower. The flower bed is part of a sculpted knot garden decorating the center of Anzac Square. ANZAC honors the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who died during World War I.

22 Anzac Ave, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand
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38 Dome of City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The green copper dome of the Belfast City Hall is a prominent landmark. One layer of the Portland stone is supported by Ionic columns while the other is surrounded by balusters before reaching its 173 foot summit. On the left is one of four corner towers. The Baroque Revival design was created by Alfred Brumwell Thomas. Affectionately called the “Wedding Cake,” the City Council’s building opened in 1906.

Donegall Square, Belfast, BT1 5GS
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39 Waterfall Cascading Down Mountain at Geirangerfjord near Geiranger, Norway

A delightful experience when entering Geiranger by ship is cruising through a Norwegian fjord. The Geirangerfjord is so spectacular it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This grand entrance to the town is 9.3 miles long. It is best toured in the early spring when enormous waterfalls cascade down the side of the snowcapped Åkerneset mountain.

Geirangerfjord, Stranda Municipality, Norway
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40 Boardwalk Around Eastern Harbor in Kristiansand, Norway

This view from Odderoya displays the beauty of Østre havn or the Eastern Harbor. The pier on the left is actually an islet named Nodeviga. It sits at the mouth of the Gravanekanalen channel. It also is near the start of the Kristiansand Boardwalk, a 1.7 mile promenade around the waterfront. You can first explore Otterdalsparken with its huge water fountain and outdoor sculptures. Then behind the marina of moored sailboats are the Tresse park and the Christiansholm Fortress. Continue at a leisurely pace along the Srandpromenaden and you find the Bystranda public beach.

Sjølystveien 5 4610 Kristiansand, Norway
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41 Norwegian Royal Palace Close Up View in Oslo, Norway

Since 1849, the Norwegian Royal Palace has been the residence of the country’s king, queen and royal family. Det Kongelige Slott is also where most of the monarch’s work is conducted and the venue for receiving guests. Guided tours of about a dozen of the 173 rooms are available during the summer. The Royal Palace is protected 24/7 by sentries who are part of the King’s Guard.

Slottsplassen 1, 0010 Oslo, Norway
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42 Three Old Arabian Men Wearing Omani Turbans in Khasab, Oman

Khasab, Oman is a desolate seaport that, until recently, was only accessible by water. Because of its proximity to Iran, it is often used to illegally conduct trade. The town is etched into a desert with an average temperature of over 100 degrees from May through August. These three Arabian men, who were wearing Omani turbans and robes called dishdasha, sought shelter from the heat below an awning of a small grocery store. They seemed puzzled by why Americans would be visiting. We didn’t stay long.

Aswar Musandum, 02 Khasab, Oman
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43 Silver Star Marker of Jesus Birth Site at Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine

This 14-point, silver star encased in a marble floor below an altar is in the Grotto of the Nativity. The inscription reads, “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born.” Nearby is another altar where Mary laid Him in a manger. Both are in an underground cave beneath the Church of Nativity within the Palestinian territory of Bethlehem. This oldest church in the Holy Land dates back to 565 AD.

Church of Nativity, Manger St, Bethlehem
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44 Cityscape of Urban Center in Panama City, Panama

The modern buildings along the waterfront – stretching from Bella Vista to the Punta Pacifica neighborhoods – are very impressive. Most of the city’s 400 plus high-rises are condos for its nearly 900,000 residents. There are currently about 50 skyscrapers above 500 feet. The majority have been built since 2000 and more are planned. The bridge in the foreground is part of the Cinta Costera. This Coastal Beltway, which was built in 2009, loops around the Old Quarter. The historic architecture in Casco Antiguo (where this photo was taken) is in sharp contrast to the towers of glass across Bahía de Panamá.

Av. Eloy Alfaro & Calle 4a Este, Panamá, Panama
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45 Tribesman in Traditional Face Paint Huli Wigman in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

The tribesmen of Papua New Guinea are proud people despite their extreme poverty. The average family lives on less than $400 a year. Many tribes have a limited connection to the modern world. This man is wearing the traditional face paint of a Huli Wigman from the Southern Highlands.

Bramell St, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
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46 Cannons Protruding from Battlements at Real Felipe Fortress in Callao, Peru

When Spaniards began using the port of Callao in 1535 to load their ships with treasures to return to Spain, they attracted buccaneers. The pirating began with Sir Frances Drake in 1578. The Viceroy of Peru, José Antonio Manso de Velasco, commissioned Louis Godin to build a fortress after the previous defense was destroyed in the 1746 earthquake. The Real Felipe, named after King Phillip V of Spain, was finished in 1774. The pentagon-shaped citadel has five bastions with cannons pointing out from the battlements.

Pileta Paz Soldan, Callao 07021, Peru
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47 Changing of the Guard at Government Palace in Lima, Peru

Stand in Plaza Mayor in Lima and you are at the 1535 birthplace of this capital city. On each corner is a reflection of Peruvian history including a cathedral and four palaces. One of them is the Government Palace. Palacio de Gobierno houses the executive branch and the president’s residence. Dragoon Guards protect this French Baroque building inside and outside the wrought-iron fence. The changing of the guard ceremony, accompanied by a band, occurs daily at noon.

Jirón Junín & Jirón Carabaya, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
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48 Cloth Hall at Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland

The 350 foot long Cloth Hall historically and physically dominates Main Market Square. Imagine you were struggling to make a living in the mid-13th century after the brutal Mongol invasion. You heralded the building of Main Market Square and the first rustic version of trading stalls. A century later, the trading hall was greatly enlarged. As a traveling Asian spice merchant during the Polish Golden Age (late 15th century to mid-16th century), you conducted a flurry of business at Cloth Hall in exchange for local textiles and salt. In horror, you watched as Sukiennice was consumed by fire in 1555. It rose from the ashes with a grand Renaissance style. The next three hundred years saw a cycle of decline and renovation. By 1879, Cloth Hall had the existing appearance with the colonnades. It was restored again in 2010. Today, Cloth Hall is the place to shop for Polish merchandise, crafts and souvenirs displayed in an array of merchant stalls. Afterwards, sip coffee at Cafe Szał with a great view of Main Market Square.

Sukiennice, Rynek Główny 1/3, 31-042 Kraków, Poland
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49 Alcobaça Monastery Church Entrance in Alcobaça, Portugal

This exquisite gothic façade of the Alcobaça Monastery’s church was built in two stages. The rose window above the main entrance was finished in 1252 while the two bell towers and the statues in the niches were added in the 18th century. This architectural gem is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2460-018 Alcobaça, Portugal
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50 Cruz Fort on Tamariz Beach in Estoril, Portugal

The full name of this fortress along Tamariz Beach is the Fort of Santo António da Cruz. It was created as a residence in the late 19th century by a wealthy man named João Martins de Barra. Apparently he built it for his terminally ill daughter but I am sure he also loved the wonderful view of the Atlantic Ocean.

R. Olivença 13, 2765-262 Estoril, Portugal
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