Top 10 Places To See Before Leaving Earth
Altai Region & Siberia
Siberia - Mysticism And Miracle
According to Ohio State University language specialists, Siberia comes from a Turkic word or Turkic-related word for "sleeping land." It is certain that the land is a land of contrasts of great beauty and great hardship. The winters suffer temperatures of -75 degrees F and colder and some residents have no heat in their homes. Entire villages are unheated, but relay on blankets, tapestries, bearskin rugs, shaggy oxen pelts, and sled dogs to keep them warm.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics used to hold yearly festivals in which people from all the republics would display their wares, their cultures and their talents. When the northernmost inhabitants of Siberia came onstage, a hush would fall over the crowd of spectators. These people were known only as The People of the North. They survived impossible winters year after year and were to be respected for it. They drove their large sleds hooked to shaggy oxen or reindeer onto the stage, the men, women and children wearing their furs and indigenous embroidered animal skins.
The Altai Region
There is much supernatural belief and practice in the far north of Siberia. Its Altai peoples are ancestors of some of today's Korean peoples and possibly some Native Americans as well. Shaman customs reign throughout segments of all these populations. The traditional belief among Scandinavian and northern Siberian peoples that a reindeer pulls the sun up each morning transmuted in Korea to become a dragon pulling up the sun each day.
Siberia as a country is so large that it takes up almost all of northern Asia. It can be cold in, but beckons for visitors in spring and summer. The crystal clear lakes and the delicate flowers able to bloom in the Siberian wilderness, along with its indigenous peoples, also diverse respect and appreciation.
Great Lakes Region
Younge Street, Toronto - A Long Road
Chapters Book Store
The City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Toronto is a wonderful metropolitan city that enjoys visitors every year in every season, from around the world. You will find languages spoken from many nations, including French, English, Spanish, Asian languages, Middle Eastern dialects, and more. One of the most interesting parts of Toronto is located along part of downtown Yonge Street.
The Magic of Yonge Street
One store on downtown Toronto's Yonge Street is an especially mysterious treat. One of my friends, when he went to this shop for the first time, had deja vu. This friend of mine has visited Totonto several times more often than myself since his first visit to this special store -- Sam the Record Man. It is a very large place, but when he got to eh entrance door the first time, he knew what the entire store looked like, hwo it was designed, where all the selections were located, etc. He had never been thre before, and netiehr had his mother or is father. It was eey and, being a vinyl record afficionado, he loved it.
The place still offers vinyl recordings, as well as many other collectors' and vintage pieces on vinyl, 8-track, cassette and CD. It probably had DVDs by now. The store itself is three stories tall, much like the Chapters Books stores of the region.
However, the most famous book shop on Yonge Street is the World's Biggest Bookstore with miles and miles of book shelves and bins. You could spend a week in there alone.
Yonge Street covers about 1,200 miles in all, all the way from one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, over to the Minnesota border. This fact makes Yonge Street most likely the longest street on earth. In America, Rt 40 is longer, but it is an inter-state highway and not a street. US Route 66 is also long, but it is also a highway and not a street.
The World's Largest Bookstore
While Yonge Street is interesting expressly for its great length, it is also interesting for the sites along its route.
One section is a couple of dozen blocks blocks long that spans the length of the street from Lake Ontario to Bloor Street. Visitors as well as locals have a high opinion of this stretch of road. They enjoy the many restaurants and some great electronics stores with new gadgets and good sales events. Some people line up the night before to be the first in to some of these events.
This downtown area has many stores and shops on Yonge Street.
Don't Miss Honest Ed's
Honest Ed has been in business for decades and still offers some 1960s prices on its merchandise. This is another place that people line up for the night before, especially for good buys like a loaf of fresh bread for less than 50 cents.
Ed Mirvish was the founder of Honest Ed's in 1948. He was a high school dropout that became a great success. He became a successful theater producer in Canada and a retail wizard at Honest Ed's
At Honest Ed's, which is a full block long and a block wide, some prices are always low. For example, some good shirts are priced at under $3.00 all the time. Ed and his successors have kept prices low with good marketing and advertising techniques that keep sales volume and customer counts high. The outside of the facility has gigantic red and yellow signs posted so that you can see the name of the store from far away, probably form an airplane as well.
Advertising studies in the 1960s-1980s found that the combination of red and yellow produced the highest amount of sales and new customers, so Honest Ed uses that fact to its successful advantage. The front signage also looks like a movie house marquee with many white lights to breed excitement and curiosity. Shopping becomes a grand event. An interesting skywalk connects the main building to a secondary facility.
Along this area of Yonge Street, some of the shops and homes have been sold by the original owners or their families as they aged and died. Part of this area has been re-named MirvishVillage.
This is a group of older homes on either side of Markham Street that Ed himself bought. From homes and households, he and his company transformed them into art studios, cafes, shops, art galleries, and other sites to see.
Honest Ed's Alley
Toronto's Chinatown is the biggest Chinatown outside of China, located along Spadina Avenue not for from Yonge Street. This tribute to China is full of immigrants and their descendants, making a good living in the various businesses here. There is a Chinese-themed shopping center, Chinese bakeries, sidewalk fruit and vegetable stands, gift shops, rice shops, medicine shops, import-export businesses, restaraunts and several other types of places to see. You can smell good Asian cooking and hear music in the streets, It is another world and one you won't want to leave.
CBC Television is the home of TV's Steve Smith, Patrick McKenna and the New Red Green Show, now in syndicated reruns.
Among CBC Television's first rate TV series are its comedies: Royal Canadian Air Farce (hilarious), This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Rick Mercer Report. Its great dramas are This is Wonderland and Da Vinci's Inquest. CBC also broadcasts British series, including Coronation Street and Doctor Who, along with a few American series: The Simpsons, Frasier, and Arrested Development.
CBC is located not far from University of Toronto.
University of Toronto
Sites in the Holy Land
Jerusalem - Holy City of Judaica, Muslim, and Christianity
Jerusalem, the Holy City
The walled area of Jerusalem, which constituted the entire city until the 1860s, is now called the Old City, and was added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger in 1982. The Old City has been traditionally divided into four quarters, although the names used today-the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters-were only introduced in the early 19th century. Despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometer (0.35 square mile), the Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims.
Wonders in Africa
Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe
Any waterfall is an awesome sight to behold, but this one is the leading waterfall of all nations. Victoria Falls is the English name for Mosi-oa-Tunya, which translates as "Smoke that Thunders." Some of my friends in Africa are actually offended by the English name, which suggests UK governance and dominion (from Queen Victoria). The smoke certainly does thunder here, because Mosi-oa-Tunya is the largest waterfall in the world and the massive amounts of water going over the edge booms like thunder in the uprising mists. Mosi-oa-Tunya is actually a mile wide and over 360 feet tall, twice as tall as Niagara Falls and twice the width of Horseshoe Falls. Mosi-oa-Tunya is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer.
The American Southwest
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon
As a counselor, I was able to obtain a video that was shot from a helicopter ride up and down the length of the canyon. The film showed the colors and plant life that changed form one scene to the next. Backed by relaxing music, this video was quite a success with clients coming in for relaxation sessions.
I flew over the Grand Canyon twice and was dumbfounded by its size. The plane went over a smaller canyon first, which I mistook as the Grand Canyon on my first flight and that that canyon was huge. Then went over the Grand Canyon and I was speechless. The size of the canyon made it look as though half of the earth had been shoveled out. The colors and hues are gorgeous. ON trips down into the canyon, you can see the lines of demarcation of the different archaeological historic eras and learn about the fossils in each time period.
Middle East Monuments
Petra is a famous location that is still not known to many people, but in 1985 it was recognized as a World Heritage Site and important part of world history.Yearly publications concerning travel and historic sites help to make this location more well known globally.
Just in the summer of 2007, Petra was named one of New Open World Corporation's New Seven Wonders of the World.
Moses reportedly struck a rock with his staff at Petra to bring forth water, so it is of religious historical importance as well. The stone carvings once can see present in the tall rock are awe-inspiring in reds and pinks, depending on the angle of the sun. This makes a fine photographic subject for visitors.
The rock gospel group Petra derived its name from this famous location.
Great Pyramid Of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid is the leading pyramid in Giza near Cairo, Egypt. It is the earth's only existing structure remaining form the original Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid stands as a tomb for the Fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, or Cheops. There is a long hallway passage inside that contains what have been said to be markings translated as predictions throughout history, up through about 2020 AD, at which point they stop abruptly. New excavations and discoveries are bringing more to light about ancient Egypt day by day.
The Great Pyramid at Giza, Al Haram, Nazlet El-Semman, Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt
The Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is located in Australia and is the place where Steve Irwin died in an encounter with a sting ray. However, rays do not usually harm humans and the Great Barrier Reef is still a beautiful site to visit. It is the longest coral reef in existence, a composite of 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands in the Coral Sea, off Queensland. Coral is a living organism and 400 types live in the Great Barrier Reef. All of this coral makes a home for 30 different kinds of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, among others. There are actually 5,000 types of mollusks living there and 200 species of birds.
The Great Barrier Reef
In the Sky Above Our Heads
SPACE: the Moon and Mars
With space travel for tourists becoming possible, we must see the moon as soon as we can, and the earth form the moon. Privatization of space flight has entered the moon-space tourist race and fares may become affordable before mid-21st century. Already, some wealthy individuals has purchased trips to the International Space Station, so the moon is the next stop. Meanwhile, we can read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. It is a must-read story of the settle of the Luna as a penal colony and its fight for independence form Earth.
A Legendary Paradise
The story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in Tibetan Buddhist folklore. Shambhala may be a mystic tradition or it may be a real place. Many people believe that Shangri La (Shambhala) actually exists, similar to the fictional story/stage play & musical Lorna Doone, in which a city appears one every 100 years.
Actually, many cities in northern India and in Tibet have claimed to be Shangri La.
The Tibetan Kun Lun Mountains certainly look like they could be hiding Shangri La. Another possibility is in the Hunza Valley of Pakistan - a verdant valley surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains. There is even a Shangri-la resort nearby. Hunza Valley.
Whatever may be the truth, the region in and around the Himalayan Mountains is beautiful and must be seen.
A book and movie, Lost Horizon, are about Shangri La: imdb.com/title/tt0029162/
Shangri La in Tibet and Yunnan,China
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS