Cleveland, Ohio: The Comeback City

Cleveland is a three centuries old, second-most-populous city of the U.S. Ohio, with a population of about two and half million. It came into existence back in 1796 and located at the helm of Cuyahoga River where it connects with one of the five Great Lakes; Lake Erie. The booming steel industry and the establishment of Standard Oil Company (reaping benefits from the city’s access to major waterways) during and after the Civil war, gave it prominence and recognition. Cleveland improved itself significantly with its stance as an industrial powerhouse as those who reaped monetary gains from industry (Steel, Coal and Shipping) were set up for a prolonged success and in return they invested in museums and cultural establishments which lead to the welfare and prosperity of the city.

After suffering from The Great Depression (in the nineteenth century) and burning up of Cuyahoga River due to its saturation with the decade-old pollutants the civic leaders started revitalizing the downtown area and as a result of this successful rehabilitation plan, Cleveland has entered the twenty-first century proudly as the host of Rock and Roll (Hall of Fame and Museum), Science center of the Great Lakes, the Gateway Sports Complex which is comprised of Gund Arena (basketball court for men and women) and Jacobs Field (a baseball park).  The burnt Cuyahoga River was restored into a district of restaurants and bars.  The implementation of the rehabilitation program successfully resulted in the re-nicknaming of the city to “The Comeback City” from the “Mis-take on the lake” (A name given during the city’s decline during the nineteenth century).

Today, the steel industry has a minor presence in Cleveland and the current economic powerhouses are academics and healthcare with wide-spread educational institutions, medical centers and associated businesses.

In 2009 the city devised and announced an ambitious ten-year-plan to transform itself into a sustainable and green city on the bank of the blue lake. The plan has grown in scope and breath by gaining huge support since its initial launch. The goal is to instill sustainability not just in daily public operations but to corporations, institutions and individual lives as well.

Cleveland is a diversified city capable of accommodating people with all tastes as it boasts a large number of attractions for tourists that include museums, parks, gardens, zoo, stadiums, science centers and casinos. It is very easy to navigate around Cleveland as the city’s transit authority has deployed a network of transport possibilities from buses, rails, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), trolley and Van share covering its huge area.  Private transport services are also available that provide all kinds of vehicles from saloon cars, luxury SUVs and even Limos for special events. We had an amazing experience with www.limocleveland.org. This multitude of travel options makes it very convenient to get from one side of the city to the other. There are three airports within the city providing ease of access to land near your desired location.

The renowned Cleveland Museum of Arts, famous Cleveland Orchestra and the largest restoration project; Cleveland Playhouse Square make the city a cultural hub. The traditions, county arts, education and medical district are waiting to be explored located in University Circle just past downtown center. They are an enlightening playground and provide a wealth of knowledge and sightseeing.

You must travel to Cleveland to be able to truly mesmerize in its rich history, cultural diversity and colorful environments (with a touch of modern serenity). Every year thousands of tourists visit Cleveland to delight in the fine experiences of its busy metropolitan, calm suburbs and perfect beaches, all available together in one place.

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA: THE CITY OF WINE AND VINE.

Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital, its largest city and the political and cultural heart of the Slovenian nation. Besides being the congressional, business, commercial and expo center of Europe, its centralized location within the country has also allowed it to become the center of science, education and transport for the Slovenian people. Ljubljana (maintaining a status of a mid-

sized European city) has succeeded in keeping its small-town atmosphere preserved whilst providing all amenities available in any modern capital. Its geographical location during summers allows you to bask in relaxing Mediterranean feel while in winters it lets you enjoy the dreamy European characteristic.

Visitors initially assume the city to be quite young as its filled with around 50,000 students (giving this young vibe) and the city’s average age is about 30 but this city is a perfect example of old meeting the new because it appears as if history has been preparing and polishing it for millennia to become the country’s capital. This is quite evident from the historical smudges of all periods depicting its rich and diverse history; Roman Emona’s legacy, influences of Rennisance and portrayal of Baroque and Arts Nouveau by the beautiful house fronts with dec

orated doorways. This is where Italian art concepts met European sculpture aesthetics of cathedrals, and the eastern and western cultures came together to become one.

The culture is embedded deep in the way people of Ljubljana live and think in their daily lives as the numerous theaters, museums and galleries make Ljubljana a culturally enriched city. Ljubljana boasts one of the world’s oldest philharmonic orchestras. Slovenia’s first music so

ciety Academia Philharmonicorum (established in 1701) promoted baroque music and paved way for the development of musical production in the region. Many renowned composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Joseph Haydn and violinist Nicolo Paganini were its honorary members.

Ljubljana’s offers a diverse range of deliciousness as its central location within the country allows it to benefit from local tastes of all four sides.  The city also offers fantastic wines because it has been center of wine trading in the past and the inhabitants of the Roman Emona( old city upon which Ljubljana was built) had planted grapevines on the slopes leading up to the present-day castle thus giving this city the name “The city of wine and vine”.

Today, Ljubljana attracts people from all walks of life, be it artists (coming for its renowned Biennial of Graphic Arts, numerous art galleries & Art Academy), Scientists (coming for its highly qualified universities and institutes ) or businessmen, economists and financial experts interested in attending congressional meetings, trade fairs and exhibitions.

Getting around Ljubljana is quite easy as it offers a variety of travel options including train, buses, cycles, taxi and private cars. Some areas are so magical that they force you to walk through them.

People either return to Ljubljana for work or due to pleasant memories of past visits. The city has certain similarities to other beautiful European cities yet it is unique, special and lovely in its own way.

As the meaning of its name suggests, it is truly “beloved” by its people and visitors alike.

COLMAR, FRANCE: THE LITTLE VENICE

 

 

Colmar is the capital of “Alsatian Wine Route” and third largest commune of the Alsace region in France and an exciting destination of tourists for countless reasons. It greets you with pleasant lifestyle and hospitality portrayed through attractive flowery displays, traditional houses, tasty cuisines, lovely canals, famous wines and delightful accommodations. This beautiful  town filled with half-timbered homes and the roads paved with cobblestone has a country town feel to it and appears to have been plucked from the pages of a traditional medieval saga (which actually might fool you into believing it’s 1454). The careful restoration and continuous improvements (for more than 20 years now) have perfectly preserved its historical center which contributes to most of the town’s charm.

The visitors are presented with thousand years of rich European history as Colmar, fortunately, survived the French Revolution and World Wars without suffering major damage to its cultural and historical heritage and the old-town Colmar is very popular among tourists.

Other places with historical influences include:

Museums:

  • Musée d’Unterlinden
  • Musée Bartholdi
  • Musée du Jouet de Colmar.

Church:

  • Collégiale Saint-Martin de Colmar

Architectural marvels

  • Maison Pfister.
  • Koïfhus.

Palaces:

  • La Maison des Têtes.
  • Maison Adolph.
  • Presbytère Protestant de Colmar.

Fountain

  • Schwendi Fountain.

To the south of the town center, is the beautiful section where wine-makers, tanner and fishmongers used to build their households alongside the water. The two bridges covering the river give an enchanting view of the half-timbered houses in a row on one side and the Colmar’s old covered market on the other. The boat rides available from the quay offer a completely unique point-of-view and wonderful sightseeing experience from the river giving Colmar another name “The Little Venice”.

You can feast your eyes with the always visible horizon to the west and fill your outdoor adventure appetite by visiting the Vo

sges mountain range. Gorgeous vineyards cover the lower area whilst hilly pastures can be reached as you move past the woodland towards the upper area. The terrain is easy to navigate either by walk/hike or by a drive (using the country lanes) to reach the mystical Lake, Lac Noir above which the grand peak Gazon du Faing stands tall.

The villages and castles are surrounded by attractive landscapes of green vineyards (that grow the area’s famous white grapes), make up the Alsace’s wine country. You can dig deep into Alsace’s wine culture by meeting wine-growers, visiting caves and tasting some of the best Riesling on the 170 KM long Wine Route. On this epic adventure, you will surely come around villages still filled with half-timbered houses surrounded by a medieval wall (which was built for protection ages ago).

French and German flavors blend together in Alsatian cuisine giving birth to new delish tastes. “Bretzel” for example, is a pretzel with a melted cheese topping. Try Choucroute (cuts of pork served with inflamed cabbage and three different kinds of sausages) with Riesling for the main course, flambee (rolled dough with fromage frais, bacon and onions) for a snack or Kugelhopf (cake baked with almonds, cherry brandy and raisins) for a dessert to enjoy the fine Colmar eating experience.

Getting around Colmar is fairly convenient as it offers a multitude of travel options such as taxis, bus service, camping-vans and also car and bike rental service. The Regional Express Train has also got you covered for traveling around Colmar’s surrounding area within the Alsace region.

Make sure to put Colmar in your “places to visit” list and enjoy the range of cultural, sporting, dining, nature and relaxation opportunities it offers when you are there.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi: The Future of Sustainability

Masdar, Abu Dhabi is one of the most earth friendly, technologically advanced cities in the entire world. Just recently designed and manufactured by the most popular urban planners on the entire planet, Masdar has quickly grown and become very publicized in the news and media. When designing this glorious city, they had two main goals in mind. How to create it to have zero emissions and be completely environmentally friendly while also making it as sleek and modern as possible to appeal to investors and buyers.

Through blending these two worlds together, they made a incredibly efficient and glamorous city highly popular in today’s world. They used some of the newest green trends while also incorporating all modern design concepts and ideas. This city currently is able to withhold fifty thousand residents. This area has been designed in very compact quarters but through that makes it much more convenient for residents and tourists. Everything (all landmarks, services, stores, etc.) is located within 250 meters of walking distance.

This completely eliminates the need of personal vehicles. Transportation in and outside of the city is also very advantageous. There are multiple environment friendly high speed trains coming in and out offering transportation anywhere in the country. This highly advanced city cost over 22 billion American dollars to construct but has created a steady movement in changing to more green towns and cities. This has become the goal of many cities in North America to push to in a few decades. Through doing this it is much better for the environment and a lot cheaper in the long run too.

For tourists and visitors this is an mesmerising place to come and visit. You can witness, state of the art technology mixed with environmentally friendly methods way beyond our time. Well visiting this stunning city, all of your accommodations are painlessly managed and easy to book/request. You won’t have the need to find any transportation, since there is an transport system running through the city. You will be completely speechless after taking a ride in one of these devices they call an Personal Rapid Transit or PTR for short. They are small, dense little pods which can carry a small amount of people.

These transit systems run on a small connected web of specially designed rails and are incredibly fast and efficient. Due to these contraptions, it completely eliminates the need of personal vehicles, causing them to be banned inside of Masdar. Due to this ban, it has helped the city in many ways. Without the need of cars, it allows roads to be built much thinner only requiring space for pedestrians. This eliminates lost land where high rise buildings can be constructed. One thing which Masdar has done differently, than the conventional city is put most of their developments and transportation based around walking and bicycling rather than driving. This has been very influential as it has completely removed the nuisance of traffic in and around the city.

Due to all the intelligent techniques and methods which have gone into creating this city, it has also completely removed the element of Urban sprawl which benefits the city and environment in many ways. To be able to witness the true beauty and technological development of Masdar, Abu Dhabi you must travel to see it in the real world. Here you can truly see what it looks like when beauty meets efficiency. You will definitely love the experience and change the way you live your daily life because of it!