10 stunning gardens for the perfect picnic with the family this summer; Marjorie Yue; Mirror Online

UK – Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Britain has a wealth of magnificent gardens which are particularly beautiful at this time of year – here are our top picks.

With the Chelsea Flower Show just weeks away, we’re embracing the floral theme this week, with our guide to Britain’s most tropical gardens – where you’ll find just about every plant under the sun.

Our guide talks you through thousands of extraordinary exotic and unusual flowers from hundreds of countries including one Apothecary’s Garden where you can trawl through a “pharmacy” of healing herbs and plants.

And for the kids, we’ve also picked out perfect picnic spots, mazes and castles to tip toe your way through.

1. Chatsworth, Derbyshire, Family ticket £34.90

The green-fingered talent of Lancelot Brown is very evident in the 18th century Capability garden set in the grounds of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s stately home.

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UNESCO welcomes Liberation of Hatra; Iraq Business News

Iraq – Hatra

UNESCO Director-General welcomes the liberation of Hatra and will send Emergency Assessment mission “as soon as possible”

Following several reports and discussions with the Iraqi authorities, UNESCO has confirmed the liberation of the archeological site of Hatra, located in the Governorate of Nineveh in Iraq.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has reiterated her support to the government and people of Iraq and expressed the readiness of UNESCO to help protect and promote Iraqi heritage as a force for national cohesion, peace and recovery for the country.

“The liberation of the ancient city of Hatra, a UNESCO world heritage site, is good news for Iraq and beyond. For two years, Hatra has been one of the symbols of the cultural cleansing plaguing the Middle East” declared the Director-General.

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Welcome to the Caribbean’s nature paradise; Caribbean News Now

Dominica – Morne Trois Pitons National Park

With tropical rainforest covering two-thirds of the island, fascinating geothermal activity and some of the best diving sites in the world, it is unsurprising that Dominica has become known as the “nature island of the Caribbean”.

Sparsely populated by just 70,000 people, Dominica remains beautifully unspoilt compared to many other Caribbean islands.

Until comparatively recently its tourism trade remained quieter than many of its neighbours but more visitors are now discovering this jewel of the eastern Caribbean.

Recognising that intensive tourism would be incompatible with preserving the island’s eco-system, the government has focused on attracting eco-tourists ever since signing an agreement with Green Globe, the environmental division of the World Travel and Tourism Council, to develop the island as a “model eco-tourism destination” in 1997.

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48 Hours In Marrakech; Bianca O’Neill; The Urban List

Morocco – Medina of Marrakesh

Looking for an exotic getaway that ticks all the boxes? And by boxes we mean great food, great fun and (of course), great Instagram fodder…

Morocco is heating up as a travel destination with visitors and travel bloggers alike, and Marrakech – the cultural hub of the country – is where it’s at right now. In days gone by Marrakech was a hippy mecca, drawing Yves Saint Laurent, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones to its UNESCO World Heritage old town. Nowadays it’s filled with European tourists, French hipsters, and world travellers looking to explore the Sahara beyond.

Here’s our guide to exploring Marrakech in 48hours… but we can’t guarantee that you’ll actually want to leave!

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You’ve arrived! It’s a long flight from Australia, so after a walk through the old medina to get to your accommodation, check into your riad in Marrakech.

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Train adventure from Shanghai, Beijing to Shaolin Temple & Terracota Warriors; Wilson Lee Flores; Philippine Star

China – Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

I wish our leader Rody R. Duterte godspeed in his bid to become the Philippines’ “Railroad President” when he visits Beijing this month to attend the “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure summit of 28 heads of state.

Apart from modern trains being a dynamic catalyst for rural progress and expanded trade, a train ride is one of the most unforgettable and romantic ways for tourists to travel.

There is indeed romance and a certain magic about train travel, because the experience is less hurried, more leisurely; one can better appreciate the countryside and city views through windows; and there is time for reflection, conversations, dining, reading, meeting strangers and gaining new friends.

The world’s two best regions to enjoy the adventure of rail travel — as I personally experienced years ago — are historic and culturally diverse Europe and China.

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Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra; 112.international

Ukraine – Kiev: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

The Lavra complex has a hundred buildings, including numerous churches and museums.

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Kyiv Caves Monastery) is Kyiv’s premier tourist attraction and stands on a hill overlooking the Dnipro River.

The territory of the Kyiv-Caves monastery occupies over twenty hectares and is located in the very heart of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, which since the 11th century according to the “Primary Chronicle” (the work of venerable Nestor the Chronicler of the Kyiv Caves) has been known as “the mother of all the cities of Rus”.  The Lavra complex has over a hundred  buildings, including numerous churches. On Sundays, up to ten Divine Liturgies are celebrated. While on weekdays,  divine services are permanently celebrated throughout the many churches. Six ancient underground churches are located in the Far and Near Caves of the Monastery.

Upper Lavra

 

 

 

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Dominican Republic Tourism Officials Announce Santo Domingo Updates and Developments; EconoTimes

Dominican Republic – Colonial City of Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is a rising star for Dominican Republic tourism, especially in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector, according to updates shared by officials at the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE).

The capital city has experienced explosive growth in recent years and is now home to 27 first-class hotels, with five new hotels expected in the next two years, according to the Santo Domingo Hotel Association. The MICE sector has provided a significant boost to growth and hotel occupancy rates in Santo Domingo. The recent opening of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Convention Center has helped attract MICE travelers to the city, as well with the Santo Domingo’s diverse offerings in gastronomy, culture, history, sports, shopping and entertainment.

The city continues to invest in the restoration of its Colonial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Where is I’m A Celebrity filmed and could the show move from Springbrook National Park in New South Wales to Kangaroo island?; Sophie Roberts; The Sun

Australia – Gondwana Rainforests of Australia

COUNTLESS famous faces have swapped their cushy lives for a short stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.

Over the years, campmates have battled to win the reality TV crown by overcoming plenty of gruesome challenges in Queensland, Australia.

Here’s everything you need to know about the I’m a Celeb filming location and why producers may have to change sets soon…

Where is I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here currently filmed?

Currently, Springbrook National Park provides the backdrop to ITV’s I’m A Celeb.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a group of forested mountain ranges, known as the Scenic Rim.

Celebrities that brave the jungle will have to be aware of the potentially deadly animals that live in the location.

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Aussie beaches can’t compete with this; Leisa Scott; Escape

Croatia – Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

With the rugged Dalmatian mountains as a backdrop and the azure Adriatic Sea lapping its shores, Split is emerging as one of the must-see cities of Europe.

Come for the scenery and fall in love with the people who know how beautiful their city is and are proud to show it off.

It’s a magnificent blend of antiquity and modernity, with the relics of its time as part of the Roman Empire celebrated as much as the al fresco wining and dining that tourists expect.

Don’t miss the islands dotting its coastline; they’re easy to get to from the mainland – even for a day trip – and truly stunning.

 

1. THE RIVA, SPLIT

There’s always a buzz on this wide, palm tree-lined promenade abutting the Adriatic but it certainly ramps up come late afternoon.

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Best of Zanzibar: What to do, top beaches and more; Jen Welch; The Journal

Tanzania – Stone Town of Zanzibar

I’ll tell you a secret: when I was younger I used to think that Zanzibar was a made-up place. It sounds so exotic, I thought it came straight out of a fantasy novel or children’s storybook or something! How embarrassing. But what joy it brought me to learn as an adult that it was real, and that after I had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, its beaches would make a perfect place to rest my weary limbs.

After the life-changing trek up Africa’s highest peak, I had three weeks until my flight home. Once I had recuperated, I envisaged moving on from Zanzibar and exploring more of east Africa. However, as usual, my travels didn’t go to plan. I fell head-over-heels with this otherworldly island.

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Doing a DIY Norway In A Nutshell Tour – Bergen Roundtrip; Mary Solio; The World Is A Book

Norway – West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord

Norway has been near the top of my travel wish list for a long time and it didn’t disappoint during our visit last summer. It is one of the most spectacular and scenic countries we have visited. If you’re short on time and want to get a sense of what the country has to offer, the ‘Norway In a Nutshell Tour’ is a great way to see the fjords, scenery and Nordic villages.

When I started planning our trip, Norway In A Nutshell came up a lot. It was a bit confusing to call it a tour when it actually was not. This was a series of coordinated public transportation options that allowed visitors to see some of Western Norway’s treasures in a short time.

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11 crazy facts about Saddam Hussein; Blake Stilwell; Business Insider

Iraq – The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities

Dictators are colorful people, to put it mildly. It must be something about being constantly alone, maybe being a little paranoid all the time, or maybe they just get on a non-stop high from absolute power.

Hitler thought eating meat was abhorrent, but had no qualms about methamphetamine. Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier sent someone to collect the air around JFK’s grave so he could control the dead president’s soul. Muammar Qaddafi had a crush on Condoleezza Rice that rivals the one I have on Nicki Minaj.

It seems like every dictator has some bizarre personality quirks or aspirations that may seem out of character. And Saddam Hussein was no different.

1. He penned a best-selling romance novel.

The book, “Zabiba and the King,” was originally published anonymously in 2000.

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Everything you need to know about China’s Tiger Leaping Gorge; Nellie Huang; G Adventures

China – Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas

The UNESCO Heritage Site is an ideal destination for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike

Tiger Leaping Gorge sounds like a fictional location from a Disney movie. But for travellers who have hiked its steep limestone ridges and vertiginous cliffs, it’s every bit as real and deserving of its name as the Forbidden City in Beijing or the Great Wall of China

Located just 60km (37 mi) north of Lijiang in Yunnan, this dramatic gorge is carved out by the Jinsha River, a tributary of the massive Yangtze River. Featuring turquoise waterways and lime-green rice terraces, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the most stunning landscapes anywhere in China.

Since opening its doors to foreign tourists (officially) in 1993, the gorge has drawn thousands of adventure seekers who want to experience a bit of rural China.

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7 UNESCO World Heritage Towns Worth Traveling to See – Compass & Fork

Uruguay – Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento

With over 1000 UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world you’ll never run out of places to visit. But deciding where to visit can be a challenge.

UNESCO World Heritage status applies to a range of sites- all having some historic value. Sites range from ancient and abandoned, to still in use today and often include natural areas as well.

The purpose of the article is to inform you about some of the UNESCO World Heritage towns that are still living, breathing towns.

Visiting one of these UNESCO towns allows you to explore the historic past as well as eating, drinking, shopping and sleeping in many of the traditional buildings. The UNESCO designation preserves the distinctive architecture and culture, while allowing for modern development. And much of this development is around tourism.

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A Day Exploring Persepolis and Necropolis; Ellen Burne; TRAVELLING THE WORLD SOLO

Iran – Persepolis

By this point, I think I have pretty well established that Shiraz is an undeniably beautiful city. However, two of the cities biggest attractions actually lie quite a few kilometres outside the city limits.

Naqsh-e Rustam (more commonly referred to as simply ‘Necropolis’) is an ancient necropolis located approximately 55km north-east of Shiraz.

At this site you’ll find four ancient tombs cut into the side of a rocky cliff-face. One of these tombs is clearly marked and was the resting place of Darius I. The other three tombs are less clearly marked, but are believed to have belonged to Xerxes I, Ataxerxes I and Darius II.

All four tombs were carved very high above the ground, and the entrance point for each tomb is at the centre of each cross.

Unfortunately, these tombs have long since been left empty.

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10 Best Places To Visit In Portugal If You’re Young And Broke; Lloyd & Yaya; Hand Luggage Only

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

Oh HELLO land of stunning beaches, fairy-tale castles, buzzing cities and devilish little custard tarts! Portugal is an absolute gem of a country, a vibrant mix of old and new. If you’re broke AF, but still want to hit up Europe this summer, then Portugal has everything you need. Not only is the food incredible and cheap, the hostels are amongst the best in the world and consistently come up trumps at our annual hostel award based on your reviews. And with so many stunning beaches and hiking opps you’ll hardly spend a penny when you’re there.

So what are the best places to visit in Portugal? From the mainland that hugs the Atlantic Coast to the remote islands of the Azores, there really is an incredible piece of Portugal for everyone that you’ll no doubt end up falling in love with.

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A New Look at the Little-Known Pyramids of Ancient Nubia; Anika Burgess; Atlas Obscura

Sudan – Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe

In 2011, photographer Christopher Michel chanced upon an online course about ancient Egypt and signed up. What was intended to be a diversion led, some six years later, to a voyage of 8,509 miles, to the orange deserts of Sudan.

Although it’s less famous than the grouping of pyramids at Giza in Egypt, the complex at Meroë in Sudan is remarkable. More than 200 pyramids, primarily dating from 300 B.C. to A.D. 350, mark the tombs of royalty of the Kingdom of Kush, which ruled Nubia for centuries. They are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, yet they remain relatively unknown. The Nubian pyramids differ from Egyptian ones: They are smaller—20 to 90 feet on a side, compared with the Great Pyramid’s 756 feet—with much steeper sides, and most were built two thousand years after those at Giza.

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Nittan fire detection protects UNESCO world heritage site; Modern Building Services

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Italy – Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

Nittan fire detection equipment has been installed at the UNESCO world heritage site Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy as part of an integrated fire and security system. The devices have been installed in the Camposanto (cemetery), the cathedral, two museums and the administrative offices. There are 1000 zones and seven fire-detection control units. The fire-detection system has been integrated into a new security system that includes 150 CCTV cameras, a site-wide access-control system and intrusion detection. The ‘leaning’ Tower of Pisa is also on the site.

The system was designed by Nittan agent EL.MO Spa having been selected by Opera della Primaziale Pisana (OPA), a non-profit organisation which oversees the Piazza del Duomo. These historically significant sites and precious works of art require round-the-clock protection.

The EL.MO proposal met the requirements by using existing equipment where possible and seamlessly integrating new devices.

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Ex-Child Soldier Wins Goldman Environmental Prize For Protecting Virunga Park And Its Gorillas; Sasha Ingber; NPR

DR of Congo – Virunga National Park

The son of Protestant farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rodrigue Katembo dreamed of one day becoming a pastor. But at 14, he was forced into an armed group. Now 41, he is one of his country’s fiercest defenders of wildlife. Katembo has faced illegal charcoal harvesters, armed poachers and multiple militias as a warden within the 3,000 square miles of Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

One of his most daunting challenges began in 2010 when British oil company SOCO International was granted an oil exploration permit by the Congolese government in part of the protected area. SOCO’s operations threatened the livelihoods of locals and the survival of one of the last populations of critically endangered mountain gorillas, who live in the southern region of the park — estimated at about 480 of the world’s remaining 800.

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8 reasons why Weymouth is the perfect British town for a summer break; Miranda Kane; Metro News

UK – Dorset and East Devon Coast

Weymouth is about three and a half hours on the train from London, and it’s completely worth a visit.

It’s not only a great value destination, it’s also surrounded by beauty spots.

And with plenty of sun and hidden gems to discover, it’s perfect for a summer staycation.

Too many people jump off the train once it arrives at it’s hipper, younger cousin of Bournemouth.

But here are eight reasons why you should stay on and enjoy the Jurassic Coast.

1. Jurassic coast

Weymouth is right in the middle of the Jurassic coast, a Unesco world heritage site with 185 million years of history.

Dinosaur fans of all ages should head down to Chesil Beach to hunt for fossils and ammonites and there are plenty of guides in local shops to help you hunt for fossils safely and without harming the environment.

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