Stockholm Travel Guide – All About Stockholm

Stockholm Travel Guide

This place offers fabulous hotels, great shopping, elegant eateries, lively cultural aura, and internationally famous music and club scene. A person can walk through all of the city and sites on foot easily. Exploration of this city is very easily possible on foot and is the best way also. A completely different facet of this beautiful city will be witnessed having a boat trip. June, July and August are the best months to visit this place as it is warm and sunny then. During this time the temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius. Outdoor events, excellent weather, lots of activities and long days (Midnight Summer) are witnessed during the month of June.

The city has a very effective and efficient rail network that is modern and well-equipped to handle all forms of weather conditions. The motorways and roads do not witness much traffic and are well maintained. Vintage steamers, canal boats and ferries are offered in the city’s islands, canals and lakes.

Attractions in Stockholm

1. Drottningholm Palace and Theatre – this place is very spectacular and grand. The palace is still the home of the royals but a part of it is opened for the visitors.

2. Millesgarden – this place has major art pieces on display including the reproduced-sculptured of the famous Hands of God. All these can be found by scrolling through the garden that is excellent copies of some of the famous art works.

3. Stadsshuset – this is one of the finest examples of modern architecture where Nobel prizes are distributed. The best view of the old Gamla Stan town can be seen from the top of the 100 meter high tower. This is allowed in the summers.

4. AG925 – This place is the best for people looking for the underground and countercultural environment.

5. Blue Moon Bar is a street-level bar and basement that is also a restaurant and nightclub. This place attracts supermodels and TV actors with its d├ęcor that is chic and modern.

6. Cosmopol – This is a world class club building having four bars and two restaurants.

Accommodation in Stockholm– A person looking for accommodations here can go for hotels like the Acapulco hotel that offers really affordable prices.These are just the perfect choices for families or groups. The finest and most elegant hotel that offers extreme luxury and hospitality is the Grand Hotel. There are many other accommodations available here. Apart from all these, there are excellent restaurants like the Cattelin Restaurant and F12 here.

Some more things to do in Stockholm –

Around Gotland is one of the most well-known yacht races that is organised here which should in no case be missed. Stockholm proudly hosts the white steamboat fleet in July.

Beijing Travel – Confucius Temple

Confucius is one of histories greatest philosophers and teachers and in the same league as famous western philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras and Socrates.

Born in 551BC, Confucius is China’s most influential philosopher and educator. The morals and principles of his philosophy are an integral part of values and ideology of modern Chinese society. He has been revered by the common people, emperors and leaders alike for thousands of years and a number of temples have been built all over China in his name.

The Confucian Temple in Beijing is the second largest Confucian temple in the world and only surpassed by a larger temple in Qufu, the home town of Confucius. Located near the center of Beijing, the Confucius Temple provides a marvellous insight into the world of Confucius and his influence on modern China.

History

Construction on the temple began in 1302, the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Dade of the Yuan Dynasty and was completed in 1306. The temple was enlarged, restored and rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty and again during the Ming Dynasty.

Grounds and Layout

The grounds of the Confucius Temple cover 22,000 square meters and are a made up of several courtyards and buildings laid out on a central axis. The main buildings on the central axis are the Xian Shi Gate, Da Cheng Gate, Da Cheng Hall and Chong Sheng Memorial Temple. There are also two rows of smaller buildings on the left and right side of the grounds.

Xian Shi Gate (Gate of the Master) – This gate houses the ticket office and the security checkpoint that tourist pass through to enter the temple.

Da Cheng Gate (Gate of Great Success) – This gate is also called the Halberd Gate because 24 of the ancient Halberd weapons that are displayed inside.

Da Cheng Hall (Hall of Great Success) – The main building in the temple and it is in this building that Confucius was enshrined and worshiped by China’s Emperors.

Chong Sheng Memorial Temple – This hall was not built until 1531 during the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty. The hall was used for offering sacrifices to five generations of Confucius’s ancestors. The Confucius Temple performances are given on the steps of this temple.

History of Confucius Display Room – This is a long narrow building on the right side of the second courtyard. The room displays extensive information on the life and history of Confucius, his family, his accomplishments and his back ground. I found a display of his family tree very interesting because it only shows male descendants. This simple omission says a lot about Confucian philosophy and values.

Development of Confucianism Display Room – On the left hand side of the second courtyard is a room displaying information on the development and state of Confucianism in China and around the world in past and present times. There is a lot of information on the importance in the modern world of the values and ideas taught by Confucius.

There were several congratulatory references to compliments and praise made by Nobel Prize winners to Confucianism. Very ironic considering the current status the 2011 Nobel Peace price winner has in China.

I saw at least three primary school groups in the Confucius Temple when I was there and over heard one teacher lecturing his students on the values of Confucius in their studies. The Chinese education system clearly places a lot of emphasis on a 2,500 year old philosophy and its teachings.

Classical Chinese Music House – This is a small building to the left of Da Cheng Hall that has been converted to a shop selling food, ornaments and jade furniture. I found a lovely jade table and chairs in the shop that would have been great to take back home.

Jin Shi Stone Tablets – Jin Shi is a name for scholars who successfully passed the examination system in Imperial China. The examinations were a prerequisite for work in the government’s vast bureaucracy and passing these exams was considered a great honour and accomplishment.

198 stone tablets have been erected at the front and rear of the temple’s entrance courtyard that list examination results of 51,624 Jin Shi from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Interestingly this examination and selection process continued until 1905.

Stone Stele Pavilions – 14 pavilions have been built in the temple’s first and second courtyards that house stone steles (tablets) recording historical information on ancient China. Some examples of these records are the successful suppression of a riot in Qinghai in 1725 and the completion of a renovation in the Confucius Temple in 1769.

Performances

Performances are often held in the front of the Chong Cheng Memorial Temple that last for around 20 minutes. I’m not sure what relationship if any the performances have with the teachings or life of Confucius but they are enjoyable to watch and the period costumes are very cute.

Unlike most travel spots in Beijing, the performances are not shown at regular times to all tourists. The performances are only held for large tour groups who purchase VIP tickets to the Confucius Temple. If you are keen on watching a performance, I suggest you discretely tag long with a large tour group when they enter the Chong Cheng Memorial Hall. This is how I accidentally crashed a performance.

Getting There

Take the subway to Yonghegong station which is at the intersection of subway lines 5 and lines 2. Leave the station using the C exit, turn left and walk several hundred meters. You will know if you have gone to far if you reach the entrance of Lama Temple.

After several hundred meters you will see a road on the right called Guozijian street. Go down that road and the temple will be on the right had side. If you have trouble finding the temple, ask a local where the “kong miao” is. You will have no problem finding people who will point you in the right direction.

Tickets and Times

The tickets are 30rmb each and the opening times are 8:30 to 6:00pm with no tickets sold after 5:30pm.

Take in Offbeat Johannesburg in Your South Africa Travel Plans This Summer

To locals, Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa, is endearingly Joburg or Jozi; and when you are done with your visit to this teeming metropolitan town, there is likely to be a little endearment or two you have in mind for this place yourself.

Johannesburg is a vibrant city of great extremes. It has deep roots in European culture as well as African culture; there is business, culture and art of the highest order in its old world atmosphere and its glittering skyscrapers; and there are miles of shantytowns, traffic that knows no laws, and people, people everywhere. The city is home to some of the worst apartheid atrocities ever known of; and it is the home of an inspiring freedom struggle.

When you visit South Africa, travel to Johannesburg has to be the highlight of your trip; the city may be a bit dangerous in some of its seedier areas, but most of the places you would want to venture to are pretty great.

Let’s cover some of Jozi’s best offbeat attractions in pubs and restaurants, art galleries and everything else. Let’s start with Arts on Main, an exciting bunch of shops, all hidden away in a reclaimed warehouse right in the center of the city. The whole enterprise is a part of the city’s plans to take advantage of the history that the city possesses. There are galleries and little bohemian shops by the dozen that should easily take up a couple of hours spent exploring. Check out http://www.Artsonmain.co.za for details.

If you want a piece of history for your South Africa travel plans this time, try the Market Theater, otherwise known as the Theater of the Struggle. During apartheid times, the theater’s management felt that art could have a great contribution to make to the country’s political struggle, and frequently put up shows that challenged the government’s policies. A visit there today, and you’ll see some of the best that South Africa’s arts and music scene has to offer. Check out http://www.Markettheatre.co.za for details.

Keeping with the apartheid theme, how about a trip out to the suburb of Soweto, a massive place that all blacks in Johannesburg were forced to leave for each evening in the apartheid era, after their work in the city was done? Soweto featured prominently in the country’s freedom struggle, and is home to hundreds of thousands black South Africans. Things aren’t as desperate around here as they once were. The economy in Soweto is booming, and the energy in the air is palpable. It would have to be, what with two Nobel Peace Prize winners living there, on the same street (Vilakazi Street) no less. What South Africa travel plan would be complete without a visit to Nelson Mandela’s home (converted into a museum now)? For a little authentic Soweto cuisine, try the Nambitha Eatery, the Sakhumzi Restaurant and Wandies Place. You could be in for a treat with ox tail stew and other South African delicacies.

If you truly want to get in touch with the earth in South Africa, travel to the world heritage site of the Cradle of Humankind. It’s just a half-hour’s drive outside the city, and here you will find stunning exhibits of exactly where it is that the human race came from. The Sterkfontein Caves are a part of the tour, and they contain the oldest fossils of pre-Homosapien primates ever found. Or how about trying the site of one of the lustiest gold rushes ever, the Old Kromdraai Gold Mine?