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Baku, Azerbaijan

Welcome to Baku, Azerbaijan’s Capital City

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Incredible Airports

I was listening to a radio program today, and they were talking about airports, once the most common non-lieux according to the definition of the French sociologist Marc Augé.

Nowadays airports aren’t just a passage point, a passage place where long and boring stopover hours could be spent, they are changing their shape, design and functions, looking more like huge shopping malls and lounge bars, places where one could spend hours shopping, drinking, eating, chilling out, swim in a swimming pool (in Singapore this is possible), enjoying wonderful settings and creative ideas.

Far East’s airports seem to be the largest and more impressive in the world, but the Arabian Peninsula’s, like Doha’s and Dubai’s are taking up the gauntlet. Beside these giants, tiny and cute airports resist, like the ones in Thailandia or in the northern part of Scandinavia. Flavors are completely different, and deciding which one is the best is a matter of personal taste.

I will post pictures of the airports that have been voted as “The Best in the World” at the World Airport Awards, but if you would like to comment, to present your city’s airport and post a picture, I would be absolutely happy!

 

Singapore Changi Airport

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Incheon International Airport, South Corea

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Munich Airport

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Hong Kong International Airport

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Hongkong Airport Terminal

 

Amsterdam Schiphol 

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Tokyo Haneda International Airport

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Beijing Capital Airport

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Zurich Airport

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Vancouver International Airport

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London Heathrow 

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Winter Wonderland

Here I will post some images of winter and of the Christmas season around the northern hemisphere. There is so much to wonder and to enjoy even during the coldest months! There are wonders everywhere, we just have to be able to spot them!

Just follow the images and you will be able to see how our world can be beautiful and magical. I know it is kinda rhetorical, but if we train ourselves to catch such an enchantment, to deeply enjoy the seconds that we live, I’m sure that our lives can be better, our spirits turn lighter and our experiences, when on travel, can be even more intense. It is not easy to do, I am trying it out too, but I’m starting to see the first results, and it feels amazing.

Brussels_Market_RhineBruxelles (Belgium) and La Grande Place/Grote Markt

1071941 Copenhagen (Denmark). Winter decorations and magic at Tivoli.

roterplatz Moskau (Russia). The incredible Red Square lit up with festive decorations.

Rockefeller Tree Lighting New York (U.S.A.). The classical, enchanting lights of the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree.

557762-bigthumbnail Japan. A Torii, a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entrance of a Shinto temple, covered in snow.

 

Santa_Claus_Village3 Rovaniemi (Finland) – Santa Claus’ Village

 

weihnachtsmaerkte_04_07 Brixen/Bressanone (Italy) – The warm and cozy lights of the Christmas Market, a tradition of the Südtirol region.

821283-niagara-falls-ice-winter Niagara (Canada/U.S.A.) – Frozen river

SONY DSC Goðafoss (Iceland) – The purest magic of the Nature at its best.

hotel-kakslauttanen-igloo-village-leadSaariselkä (Finland) – Warm and comfortable igloo (Kakslauttanen) to wait for the Northern Lights and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of this place.

6415312_800d225fc2_z Stockholm (Sweden) – The city itself is a jewel, and with snow even more.

tromso_dark Tromsø (Norway) – Winter lights in the city.

harbin-ice-festiva_2781691k Harbin (China) – The annual, spectacular ice festival. I think there are no words to describe it. I think I will post something else about this thing! Stay tuned. And enjoy the world.

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Marina Bay Sands Skypark – Singapore

Ok I was stunned when I first saw those pictures. And the second thought was: there is a new place on my Wish List.

The three incredible buildings have on top (191m) an incredible flat structure that links them all. On this platform is situated the world-famous Infinity Pool, from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view over Singapore’s Marina Bay.

The property includes an hotel, a convention and exhibition centre, theaters, parks, retailers, restaurants and the pool on top, and has surely redefined Singapore’s skyline.

Final comment: I WANT TO GO THERE.

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(Some of) The largest Shopping Malls in the World

Today I’ve met a new awesome friend: he’s from Edmonton, Canada.

I’ve been in Edmonton twice and I love it; I first studied English there so I have to confess: Edmonton owns a piece of my heart!

Speaking seriously… I’ve wondered a lot today about my Canadian experience… then my brain made a connection (don’t know why, my brain’s sometimes bizarre)

Canada + Edmonton + Upcoming Christmas Season = Shopping

Shopping + Canada = West Edmonton Mall. 

I was like a kid over there and I loved every single moment I’ve spent in the water park… anyway, here are four of the largest shopping malls in the world, at least my favorites, or the ones that caught my eyes.

OK, stop talking, here they are.

 

1) West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada 

Yes, I’ve cited that, and here it is. With more than 800 shops, attractions and services, the WDM was until 2004 the largest in the world. Numbers are impressive. It receives more than 90.000 visitors per day, and more than 32 million every year.

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2 – Golden Resources Mall – Beijing – China

This isn’t the largest Mall in China, it’s the second one in the list. But the N°1, the South China Mall it’s largely vacant and it’s on its way to become a Dead Mall, I thought this could be more representative. It hosts more than 1.000 shops and services (1.000?? The largest shopping mall in my hometown has 40 shops).

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3 – SM Megamall – Manila – Philippines

The parking lot has the impressive capacity of 4 millions cars. That’s enough to say about this HUGE THING.

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4 – Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota, U.S.A. 

Last but not the Least. This incredible building, opened in 1992, receives more than 40 million visitors every year and includes a large indoor amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe. Not bad MoA.

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P.S. MoA’s and West Edmonton Mall’s owner is the same. I can’t guess the annual income (and taxes too).

 

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World’s First Inflatable Concert Hall – Tohoku, Japan

Anish Kapoor and Arata Izoaki have revealed world’s first inflatable concert hall.

Set to open in October, 2014, Ark Nova (this is the name of the theatre) won’t be just an incredible place to enjoy concerts or cultural venues; in fact, the idea of a mobile concert hall has been created to bring hope and joy to the people in the aftermath of the tsunami: the incredible plant-like theatre has been built in the proximity of earthquake’s epicenter.

Kapoor said that “bringing people together is a way to understand that we are not alone”. I guess he’s right.

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