One of the most beautiful buildings in Central Europe (and that’s saying a lot), construction on this Gothic cathedral first began in 1344. The cathedral is located within Prague Castle, where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices.
Helicopter trip over the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. Taken during a December 2007 trip to the Big Island.
This is a view if the Hermitage as seen from a cruise on the Neva River. The Hermitage is an art museum that holds over 3 million pieces in its collection, including works by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The Hermitage was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and now comprises several buildings, including the Winter Palace, former residence of the Russian Tsars. The Hermitage is a must see for anyone who visits St. Petersburg.
If you are interested in taking a cruise down the Neva, check out Viking River Cruises, which offers an itinerary that includes river excursions to both St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Schoolchildren perform at the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea. What exactly are the mass games? Well, take 100,000 North Koreans, place them in the largest stadium in the world, add some perfectly choreographed gymnastics, dancing, singing, and a heavy dose of propaganda, and the end result is a massive show glorifying the achievements of North Korea and its eternal President, Kim Il-Sung. It’s also a huge money-maker for the North Korean regime, as tourists from all over the world such as myself fly to Pyongyang to witness this spectacle.
There aren’t too many Lenin statues still standing these days. This particular statue is located on Oktyabrskaya Ploshchad (October Square), a short walk from the dorm I lived in while studying in Moscow for a few months in 2003. Dedicated in 1985 by Moscow’s then mayor, Boris Yeltsin, this was the last statue of Lenin to be erected in the city. It’s now home to a thriving skater community.
Located in Haghpat, Armenia, this monastery complex was built in the 10th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is in a rather remote location, and when we arrived at the monastery we were the only tourists there. More on this trip (including a slight problem with our transportation) here.