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Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

The Brutal Yet Refined Art of Boat Jousting

The Brutal Yet Refined Art of Boat Jousting | In Southern France, the medieval art of jousting is still practiced by modern knights, only with a big twist – they use no horses and face each other on water The sport is officially called Water Jousting or Marine Jousting and although the practice can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian civilization (as far back as 2300 BC), the French have embraced it as their own since the Middle Ages. Back then, water jousting tournaments were staged for a royal audience at local festivals. The sport is still taken seriously today, and is played on rivers and canals all over France.

The jousters fight as they balance themselves on long wooden boats, powered by 8 to 10 rowers and a helmsman. A wooden platform, called tintaine, extends off the boat about three meters above the water. The jousters stand on this platform at the back of the boat, while carrying a 28-inch wooden shield and a 9-foot lance. The liveries worn by the rival boats and teams are always red and blue – blue for bachelors and red for the married. At the stern of each bark, an oboist and a drummer sporting flat-brimmed straw hats play medieval tunes that help the oarsmen stay synchronized.

Before the fight begins, each jouster straps on an elaborate wooden breastplate. The shield serves a dual purpose – to dodge jabs and also to avoid using the non-lance hand to topple the opponent.  As you might have guessed, the main objective of water jousting is to knock the opponent into the water. The player who manages to stay on the tintaine till the end is declared the winner. Each competitor has just one chance to prove himself, competing against the winner of the previous game.

Water jousting, they say, isn’t as dangerous as it looks, mainly because boats aren’t as fast as horses and the water breaks the loser’s fall, but taking a wooden lance to the face, or hitting your head on the boat on your way down can happen, so it’s not entirely risk-free. Winning, however, comes down to only one skill – picking the perfect moment to lunge.

Each year, during the Festival of St. Louis, the prestigious Gold Cup championship is held in the French town of Sète. These tournaments are generally broken down into different categories according to age and weight – the junior competition is for those under 21, and the heavyweight class is for anybody over 88 kilograms in weight. The heavyweight title is considered rather prestigious in France, with the winners getting their names engraved on a shield that is displayed in the Paul Vallery Art Museum in Sète.

World’s Most Expensive Restaurant to Charge $2,000 per Meal

World’s Most Expensive Restaurant to Charge $2,000 per Meal | The world’s most expensive restaurant is all set to open on the party island of Ibiza. Playa d’en Bossa, a major holiday resort in Ibiza is going to be home to the new Hard Rock Hotel. This exclusive new venue will include a new restaurant called Sublimotion, which is being described as an unparalleled gastro-sensory venture. Patrons will be served elaborate 20-course meals at a whopping cost of $2,000 per head.

The five-star restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero, has an exclusive concept – to accept only 12 guests at a time and provide them ‘an experience for all the senses’. The menu, which is yet to be revealed, promises a ‘complete and unprecedented emotional experience’ to all the diners. “The dishes will cause a stir among the most neglected senses; from moments of humor, pleasure, fear, reflection and nostalgia, diners will be wandering through a world of sensations from the North Pole where they will enjoy a cold snack that they carve on their own iceberg or to the baroque Versailles where the elegance of a rose is sure to melt in their palate,” a spokesperson said. That does sound like a quite a ‘mouthful’.

The ambience at Sublimotion is also designed to titillate the senses. The spokesperson said that there would be ‘state-of-the-art’ systems that create a ‘vivid setting transcending human senses’. Roncero, who is considered to be Spain’s most famous chef, said: “We are very excited about the opening of Sublimotion and believe our guests will enjoy a culinary experience they’ve never previously encountered. We are so delighted to be working with Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza in one of the most international islands in the world.”
“This is my space, it’s a dream-come-true,” added Roncero. “But you don’t get dreams with just luck. You have to chase them, work for them, pull out all the stops and above all, this space was made with a lot of enthusiasm. A project like this is impossible for one person to do alone. I’m a cook and what I know is cooking. I had to combine forces with other talented professionals who could contribute technology, design, study the role of the senses.”

The Hard Rock Hotel is going to be Europe’s first; it is all set to be the biggest five-star hotel in Ibiza. It will include 493 rooms, suites with private pools, ocean-front balconies and outdoor Jacuzzis. The VIP services will include access to some of Ibiza’s most exclusive restaurants and clubs. “This commitment to gastronomy, entertainment, technology and luxury fits perfectly with Hard Rock’s passion to keep music at the forefront of each initiative, as well as Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza’s standing as a music-inspired innovator in one of the world’s most renewed music capitals,” said Abel Matutes Prats, the CEO of Palladium Hotel Group.

For over a year, Roncero has been busy conducting a workshop for his team of chefs at Sublimotion. Together, they’ve been working hard on developing the perfect menu and ambience for the restaurant. “As a cook I have the chance to travel all over the world and in all these trips I tried to find that unique space which could give me something totally different, said Roncero. “I’m really very proud to have this space here. And to have developed it with my team, my people. The workshop has been going on for just over a year – we’ve spent it researching and creating dishes, but above all, it’s about making our customers happy.”

“The macro-environment all depends on the cook, who is the emitter,” said one of the chef’s on Roncero’s team. “The receiver is the diner and the dish is the message. And the setting is the channel. All this is inside the macro-environment, which is the place where you eat. For example, eating on a beach is not the same as eating on a field. And that is what we have developed here in the Paco Roncero workshop.”

Beautiful Mitchell Falls in Australia

Mitchell Falls in Australia | Mitchell Falls is a beautiful four-tiered waterfall located in the remote north of the Kimberley Region in Western Australia, about 2,140 kilometers northeast of Perth. It is located within Mitchell River National Park and is one of the park’s main attractions.

Mitchell Falls can be accessed only helicopter or by foot during the dry season when the Gibb River Road is open from around May to November each year. The wet season starts from December and lasts until May during which the Mitchell Plateau area gets an average annual rainfall of some 1,600 mm. Torrential rains make rivers run wild eroding riverbeds and carrying away every thing in their path. As the torrents flood the high country, they fall in stupendous cataracts and waterfalls into deep gorges.

Like other waterfalls in the tropical regions of Northern Australia, most of the flow of the Mitchell Falls come from rain water during the wet season. The flow would then diminish as the Dry Season wore on. Mitchell Falls usually flow from the wet until anywhere between July to October.

The Mitchell Falls are accessible via a bush walk that takes a couple of hours over rough terrain. The walk is in a remote wilderness area and requires a reasonable level of fitness. A helicopter flight allows you to grasp the extreme ruggedness of the plateau, and is the only way to view many of the waterholes and surrounding area.

Mystery of the Round Rocks In Costa Rica

Mystery of the Round Rocks In Costa Rica | In 1930 , during the clearing of forests Costa Rica to open a banana, United Fruit Company workers found a large stone ball that is embedded in the forest. The mysterious balls later became jewelry on display in front of government buildings, homes of the rich and several other companies in Costa Rica .

Many of the damaged stone balls , etc. had been blown up by treasure hunters to find the hidden gold in the stone balls . Over the next decade , about 300 miles dug especially Diquis Delta region . Stone balls of various sizes , ranging from a few centimeters to over 2 meters , found in the woods .

The average weight up to 15 tons. Some of them , as reported , will be in the exact location where they were found , but a lot of people who then move the stone ball . Some of these balls were also damaged due to erosion , fires and vandalism.

Although very difficult to estimate the age of the rocks , the rocks are believed to have been carved around 600 BC. There is a possibility the ball is related to the growing Diquis culture between 700 BC and 1530 BC in what is now known as Costa Rica .

Rocks are covered by the United Nations , UNESCO , stating that it is a heritage of humanity .

Biggest Ferris Wheel in the World

Biggest Ferris Wheel in the World |  Las Vegas High Roller rises to a height of 167.5 m, 2.5 m above the ferris wheel in Singapore (Singapore Flyer) and 32.5 m - Ferris wheel in London (London Eye). It is expected that the attraction will be open until the end of March.

Kaali Meteorite Crater

Kaali Meteorite Crater | The Kaali Meteorite Crater is located in the village of Kaali on the Estonian island . It was the last giant meteorite to fall into a densely populated area, and the scar it left on the landscape tells about the terrible events which happened here during the Bronze Age.

The wall, the silver and the bones have led to speculation that centuries after the catastrophic explosion took place, the crater took on the role of a pagan worship site. The Estonians are known to have made animal offerings to ensure good harvests, which continued to be made in secret long after the Church forbade such pagan practices.

Stories of the catastrophe and the lake appear prominently in Finnish mythology, particularly the national epic, Kalevala which give a very realistic description of fire falling from the sky that burned houses, fields, fens and humans.

Amazing Ice Cave In Iceland

Ice Cave In Skaftafell , Iceland | Ice caves are temporary structures that appear at the edge of glaciers. They look amazingly beautiful from the inside. This particular cave is located on the frozen lagoon in Skaftafell, Iceland.

This cave in the glacier ice is the result of glacial mill, or Moulin where rain and melt water on the glacier surface are channeled into streams that enter the glacier at crevices. The waterfall melts a hole into the glacier while the ponded water drains towards lower elevations by forming long ice caves with an outlet at the terminus of the glacier. The fine grained sediments in the water along with wind blown sediments cause the frozen meltwater stream to appear in a muddy colour while the top of the cave exhibits the deep blue colour. 

Due to the fast movement of the glacier of about 1 m per day over uneven terrain, this ice cave cracked up at its end into a deep vertical crevice, called cerrac. This causes the indirect daylight to enter the ice cave from both ends resulting in homogeneous lighting of the ice tunnel.

The cave is accessible through a 22-foot entrance on the shoreline. At the end it tapers to a tight squeeze no more than four feet high. Ice caves are in general unstable things and can collapse at any time. They are safe to enter only in winter when the cold temperatures harden the ice. Even so one could hear constant cracking sounds inside the cave. It was not because it was going to collapse but because the cave was moving along with the glacier itself. Each time the glacier moved a millimeter loud sounds could be heard.

The Star Sand Beach of Hoshizuna no Hama

Hoshizuna no Hama The Star Sand Beach | Hoshizuna no Hama is a small beach located on the northern tip of the remote Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture, in Japan. Hoshizuna no Hama means “star sand beach”, and is so named because the grains of sand found here are shaped like tiny stars. These are not really sand but the exoskeletons of tiny one-celled organism, barely a millimeter across, called Baclogypsina sphaerulata that live among the sea grass.

The best time to find these creatures, or rather their skeletons, is after a typhoon when the raging ocean looses them up from the sea bed and washes them on the beach along with fresh sand. In Iriomote Island, it can be found at every beach, if you look for it carefully. It is abundant at Hoshizuna no Hama. One reason they are so plenty on beaches in the Indo Pacific Ocean is that they prefer shallow waters, often using sea algae to anchor themselves.

The locals have a different story. According to them, the star shells are the tiny offspring of the Southern Cross and the North Star. These children of the stars were born in the ocean just of Okinawa, but were killed by a giant serpent. Their tiny skeletons are all that remains.