11 Scenic Railways from All Over the World

Trains will help you travel, but the journey from A to B is sometimes much more than a simple geographic movement. Trains offer the peace and quite needed to enter a peaceful meditative state of mind, but a beautiful landscape will surely speed up the process. Here are some of the world’s most awesome scenic railways.

1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India

The “Toy Train”, named so because of its narrow gauge line, links the West Bengali state cities of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. The railway is only 48 miles long, but it goes from 328 feet up to 7.218 feet altitude. The 1880s railway is now a World Heritage Site.

Darjeeling railway

2. Duoro Railway, Portugal

The railway takes its name after the river it parallels most of the distance from the ocean to the mountains in the northern part of Portugal. The line used to link Portugues cities with the Spanish city of Salamanca, but the last part of the railway was closed in 1984.

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3. Hiram Bingham, Peru

Hiram Bingham III was a US senator who discovered Machu Pichu in 1911. Ok, he later became a senator, exploring was not a legislative duty. Nevertheless, the Peruvians thought he deserves to be honored and what better choice than to name the luxurious railway going to Machu Picchu after him. This is a luxury railway operated by PeruRail, but the scenery worths every cent.

 

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4. West Highland Railway Line, Scotland

The route actually is not  profitable, but the company operates it just because of the beautiful Scottish landscape. But the Jacobite steam locomotive passing over viaducts is one seductive machine. In fact, it conquered Harry Potter’s producers to feature it in the highly successful production. This is Hogwarts Express.

Jacobite steam train Scotland

5. Train des Pignes, France

This is another narrow gauge railway (they do have a certain charm). If you want to visit Provence, this is the best way to do it. The 150 km long railway rises up to 3.280 feet. On the way, you could stop in Entrevaux, a medieval French village.

Train_des_Pignes

6. Gornergrat Railway,Switzerland

This Swiss railway is less than 6 miles long. But when you think that Zermatt, the departing point, lies at 5.363 feet above sea level and Gornergrat, the final stop, is positioned at more than 10.000 feet, 6 miles seems like the journey of a lifetime. Don’t choke on those clouds!

Switzerland Zermatt. Gornergrat Bahn

7. Tranzalpine, New Zealand

The train will carry you for 4 and a half hours of pure bliss in the South Island of  New Zealand. In fact, the new line opened in 1987 targets tourists, most ow whom jump along, as this is considered one of the most scenic railways in the world.

APT_Tranz_Alpine_two

8. Oslo – Bergen Railway, Norway

The railway runs through the Norwegian mountains to offer stunning images on the way to Bergen from Oslo. On the 300 miles long way, the train passes through 200 tunnels. The fact that they needed to massacre so many mountains gives an image of the railway’s potential to blow you away due to its steep neighbors. Each tunnel exit will be a surprise.

Bergen Railway

9. Glacier Express, Switzerland

Most scenic railways usually involve mountains. Switzerland has a couple of those and was not afraid to drill them all to provide a proper infrastructure and offer us some of the most impressive landscapes. Glacier Express takes you from the famous ski resort St. Moritza to Zermatt.

glacierexpress2

10. Kyle of Lochalsh Line, Scotland

The line connects the Scottish cities of Dingwall and Kyle of Lochals.The diesel powered train takes you through all the stage offered by nature, field, mountains and sea. As the area is sparsely populated, tourists are the main train users.

 

The_train_to_Kyle_of_Lochalsh_-_geograph.org.uk_-_467835

12. Coastal Classic Route, Alaska

The train takes you from Anchorage down south to Seward. Because of the harsh weather, the 114 miles long line is operated only between May and September. Four hours and twenty minutes is just enough to enjoy the sight of nearby glaciers on one exquisite example of awesome scenic railways.

 

Deluxe Alaska Sampler

14 Clever Print Ads

Advertising has to convince you to buy a product, act in one particular way or bear a message in mind whenever you encounter a certain situation. Posters are the classical advertising form, but while there are various other forms to convey a message, posters retain their distinct charm. What better way to ensure your message has reached the target? Shake the people’s sense of safety and certainty. Here are 14 clever print ads convincing you that important events take place right under your eyes, but you did not notice them.

 

1. The Frontier Post – Drive Safe

Did you know your car is a weapon? Cars probably kill more people than weapons, at least in the US.

The Frontier Post

2. Volkswagen – Please don’t text and drive

In a similar vein, Volkswagen warns us that texting and driving is a dangerous combo. This time it’s about you, so please use your headset when you drive and take a call!

Wolkswagon

3. Save the Children – First World Garbage Bin

“A man’s trash is another men’s treasure” never made more sense. Only that it’s about children who can’t provide for themselves. Rethink the way you spend money on food and donate to Save the Children.

Garbage bin

4. Keloptic

Nothing strikes you more than being said that what you knew for sure and cherished is a distortion of reality. The ad agency managed to produce a stunning piece of meta-art.
Keloptics

5. Berge Tattoo – Job ad

Who uses QR codes anyway? Bergge Tatto is looking for a talented tattoo artist. What better way to save everybody’s time than having a an almost effortless pre-selection? Effortless if you are talented enough, of course.

Tattoo parlor

6. IBM – Smart Ideas for Smarter Cities

IBM bets on a simple, yet highly effective concept: we are the company that sees connections where there was none; we come up with these simple ideas that once applied, they will make you think that what once existed is a part of the premodern era.

IBM

7. Mercedes-Benz – Christmas Ad

Adapting the logo so naturally to the holiday spirit will probably make you think that a Mercedes will naturally adapt to your lifestyle and needs.

Mercedes

8. UNICEF – Facebook Likes

UNICEF made a bold statement. In a time when slacktivism is at its height, the organization reminds us that changing the ugly parts of the status quo require money.

UNICEF

9. Audi – Nothing to Prove

Well, of course there is something to prove, but it’s not that. Why would you buy an expensive powerful car if you are not planning on racing? As a status marker, naturally. Note the cheetah’s defiant gaze.

Audi

10. Gold’s Gym – Fat, Fat, Fit

Clearly this is not the best execution, but the concept is so good that we can forgive a final sketchy form. You literally slim down if you come to Gold’s Gym.

Gold's Gym

11. Innocent – The latest in apple technology

First of all, who buys paper anymore? Innocent decided to cleverly take advantage of the recent Apple hype, stretching puns to their limits, but without tearing them apart.

Innocent

12. BBC – See Both Sides of the Story

BBC will offer you multiple perspectives on current events, while the statement is an indirect hit to the rest of the media.

BBC

13. World Wide Fund – Horrifying / More horrifying

World Wide Fund uses this simple trick: you know the thing that scares you? This is what keeps you alive, you need your nemesis to survive.

WWF

14. The Lung Society – Antismoking Ad

No one wants to know too much information about cancer treatments, unless they work in the medical field. But you may end up knowing too much info if you don’t listen to this one simple trick. This is more than one of those clever print ads, as the message is strikingly direct.

Lung cancerImages from Reddit/r/Adporn.

 

10 of the Most Famous Cemeteries in the World

Fully aware that cemeteries are the connection between the living and the death, some people decided to leave imposing and long lasting marks of their existence. The cemetery location, be it a rural hill or a flat city, combined with architecturally rich tombs often convey serenity and peacefulness. Well, number 9 is one splendid exception. Here are 10 of the most famous cemeteries in the world!

1. Protestant Cemetery / Cimitiro Acattolico, Rome

As catholic as it is, Rome is one cosmopolitan city. Non-catholics need a place to rest as well, thus the Cimitiro Acattolico or Cimitero deli Inglesi (Englishmen’s Cemetery) was established in 1738. English Romantic poet John Keats is buried here, as he sadly passed away at the early age of 25 in the early 19th century. Pyramid of Cestius, a small, yet impressive pyramid built in 30 BC became a part of the cemetery border.

 

Protestant Cemetery Near Porta San Paolo

2. Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Pere Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. The garden cemetery founded in 1804 is 110 acres large and houses more than 1 million bodies, some of them extremely famous: Balzac, Chopin, Modigliani and Jim Morrison. Initially, the cemetery was not attractive for Parisians, as it was placed outside the city, but after a couple of famous remains were transfered, the place became popular.

PERE-LACHAISE CEMETERY, Paris

3. Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague

The cemetery is placed in Josefov quarter in Prague. The cemetery is no longer used as was filled a long time ago. In fact, burials have been performed from early 15 century until 1787. Because Jews must preserve their graves, up to 12 layers of graves have been successively added and the tombstone reorganized until they said ‘enough’ and opened another cemetery.

Old Jewish Cemetery in Josefov, Prague

4. La Recoleta, Buenos Aires

La Recoleta is one truly imposing cemetery. The rich architectural monuments house famous people like Argentinian presidents and Nobel prize winners. The small surface, just 14 acres, and the reduced number of vaults – 4691 – make the cemetery founded in 1822 really exclusive.

LA RECOLETA, Buenos Aires

5. Highgate Cemetery, London

Highgate is an upper-scale London neighborhood, so it makes sense to host one of the most famous British cemeteries. Founded in 1839, Highgate cemetery is now an official part of London’s heritage. This garden-like cemetery houses Karl Marx’s grave, as well as famous Brits.

HIGHGATE CEMETERY, London

6. Sao Joao Batista, Rio de Janeiro

Former Brazilian presidents and famous artists like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Carmen Miranda are buried in Rio de Janeiro’s Catholic Sao Joao Batista cemetery opened in 1852. The country’s most exquisite and artistic mausoleums are in Sao Joao Batista, “the graveyard of the stars.”

SÃO JOÃO BATISTA CEMETERY, Rio de Janeiro

7. Saint Louis Cemetery New Orleans

Three distinct cemeteries for the New Orleans Saint Louis cemetery. Nobody was buried here, as all the vaults are above ground, allegedly an influence of French and Spanish traditions. Saint Louis 1 was founded in 1789 and is the most visited. Most vaults were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Saint Louis Cemetery New Orleans

8. Green-Wood, New York

Initially, Green-Wood cemetery was destined to belong to a village. While the cemetery was founded in 1838, its Gothic Revival main entrance was constructed in 1861. Since 2006, Green-Wood cemetery, which provides an impressive scenery due to its geographical location, is a national historic landmark. The 478 acres cemetery is still operational.

Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn, New York

9. Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania

Virtually all cemeteries are places of regret and melancholy, but not Sapanta. Stan Ioan Patras, a guy who designed wooden tombstones, started creating the colorful pieces. Moreover, what is really striking about the Merry Cemetery are the engraved rhymes. Most of them are short funny life stories. Death is funny to Romanians, what can you say?

Merry cemetery, sapanta, romania

10.  Mount Auburn, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mount Auburn is the first American cemetery. Until it was founded in 1831, bodies were buried in graveyards surrounding churches. For a change, Mount Auburn famous cemetery is placed far from churches. The view changes as well, because Mount Auburn is positioned in a rolling landscape.

Mount Auburn, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The 5 Most Fascinating Facts about Argentina

Argentina is famous as the land of tango and the place where the best beef in the world comes from. However, what about the other facts about this country you didn’t already know?

The World’s Most Southerly City

Fascinating Facts about Argentina

The most southerly city in the world is the difficult to pronounce Ushuaia. Probably. Actually, the neighbours in Chile claim that their own Puerto Williams is the holder of this title but it only has a population of less than 3,000. Ushuaia, on the other hand, has a relatively mighty population of 64,000. If you are expecting a frozen wasteland next to the Antarctic then you are in for a surprise; it isn’t really all the far south after all. It lies around the 54o line, while the world’s most northerly cities pass the 70o line. Ushuaia has relatively mild temperatures and a host of tourist attractions including glaciers, a scenic train route and, err, a prison.

Che Guevara was Argentine

Fascinating Facts about Argentina and Che Guevara

Ernesto Che Guevara was a Cuban hero, wasn’t he? Well, maybe he was but he wasn’t born in the land of rum and cigars. Instead, he was born in the Argentine city of Rosario in 1928, where he later studied medicine. Che wasn’t his name at all, but rather a generic Argentine greeting. His Motorcycle Diairies memoirs tell of how he set out from Rosario to explore South America on a motorbike before joining various revolutionary causes in Central America. Rosario is also the birthplace of soccer star Lionel Messi.

The Widest Avenue in the World

Fascinating Facts about Argentina

If you are ever in Buenos Aires and plan to cross the 9 de Julio Avenue I have a tip for you; take a pillow for a quick nap in the middle. This is a monstrous road that has 7 lanes in each direction at its widest point. It also has streets on either side and wide islands for pedestrians in the middle.  The iconic Obelisco statue stands here and visitors to the city are likely to cross this mammoth avenue several times while they are here. You’ll probably need to wait on the traffic lights turning green 2 or 3 times during your epic trek to the other side of the road.

A Country of Extremes

Extreme Weather and Highest and Lowest Points in Argentina

The highest point on Earth outside of the Himalayas is to be found in – you guessed it- Argentina. Mount Aconcagua stands at a towering 6.962 metres, meaning that you might want to change out of your slippers and pyjamas if you plan on climbing it. Yet, you will also find the salt lake Laguna del Carbon here. At 105 metres below sea level this is one of Earth’s lowest points and possibly an ideal place for wearing slippers and pyjamas. The extreme temperatures in this vast land mean that it also holds the records for highest and lowest temperatures in South America.

Land of Dinosaurs

Fascinating Facts about Argentina and Dinosaur Remains

The film Jurassic Park wasn’t set here but it seems as though it could have been. The remains of many giant dinosaurs have been discovered here in recent years. For a start there is the slightly scary Dreadnoughtus Schrani, which is one of the biggest complete dinosaurs fossils ever found. This Argentine beauty weighed 65 tonnes and measured 26 metres (85 ft), making it the size of about 7 T Rex, 12 African elephants or millions of paper clips. Giganotosaurus is another type of huge dinosaur that lived here in the past and was similar to the T Rex in form. Perhaps the biggest of all was the stunning Argentinosaurus, which could have been as big as 38 metres (125 ft). The small Eoraptor, meanwhile, is the oldest predator dinosaur to have been discovered anywhere.

5 Famous Female Scientists You Didn’t Know About

While the go-to example of famous female scientists usually reads Marie Curie, making herself noticed in a social context where women were unlikely to gain recognition, our more recent history seems to strive towards a more balanced take on the place of women in the scientific realm. However, this situation is still present; so, without further ado, here’s a brief overview on the breakthroughs of five brilliant women that you have probably never heard about.

1. Mae Jemison – astronaut (born 1956)

MAe Jemison

Mae Jemison was selected by NASA to become an astronaut in 1987. She became one of the most famous African American scientists, when, in 1992  she was part of the crew on Endeavour’s Space Shuttle second mission. Although not the first woman U.S. astronaut, she was the first black female scientist to travel into space, for 126 orbits around Earth, a trip of no more, no less than 190 hours, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds. In 1993, Jemison retired from NASA to start a personal company focusing on technology.

2. Jennifer Pahlka – computer scientists (born 1969)

Jennifer Pahlka

Pahlka is the founder of Code for America, a non-political organization built to consolidate transparency for local governments by creating open-source software. She is a famous female computer scientist who, prior to her work for Code for America, held a position in the White House, as Deputy Chief Technology Officer. Her initiative is aiming to gather civic-minded computer scientists and hackers in order to create applications in support of government’s tasks for the community. One such application helped local firefighters in Boston through the winter to have the city’s hydrants unclogged of snow. Through this open-source application, Bostonians took on “adopting” the hydrants, keeping them available in case of fires, thus solving an ever-pressing problem for the firefighters.

3. Jane Goodall – primatologist (born 1934)

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Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, this famous woman scientist was described in her biography as “the woman who redefined man.” Through 45 years of studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, Goodall became one of the most prominent names in the field of primatology. She made a series of ground-breaking discoveries about chimps’ behavior and their similarities with that of humans, which made her a notable activist for animals’ rights. On top of her scientific work, she is well-known for a large series of books for kids, depicting the life of animals and aiming to inspire people from all age groups in joining her cause of protecting endangered species.

4. Bonnie Bassler – molecular biologist (born 1962)

Bonnie Bassler

Nicknamed “the bacteria whisperer”, Bassler is a famous female scientist who discovered that bacteria communicate, a process which allows them to synchronize their behavior and act as more complex organisms and induce diseases on humans, as well as animals and plants. This process is called quorum sensing, a concept through which Bassler opened a new line of research for a better understanding of how diseases resist to medication and treatment. Her work is considered extremely promising for solving the issue of the constantly decreasing effect of antibiotics. She is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

5. Sara Seager – planetary scientist (born 1971)

Sara Seager

Seager is dubbed the “astronomical Indiana Jones” for her persistent interest in the research of exoplanets (planets that are orbiting stars other than the Sun). Through finding and researching the atmospheric conditions of exoplanets, she became a famous female scientist by making it a life mission to discover a planet similar to Earth, one that can sustain life. She is now teaching and working towards that goal as an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT.