Sunday, March 4, 2012

Amazing Treehouse Castle For Grownups

Are you tired of being confined to the silent rules and regulations of being a grownup? You don’t have to be, it’s just a mental block that limits you. Actually, you don’t have to be an overgrown kid just to have fun. I know a lot of people love to label people in all kinds of ways, and I personally think it’s kind of lame when it is in a negative sense. We have one life, and in order to live it to the fullest, we need to have fun and do what our dreams tell us to do. And most of all, we need to live! We don’t live by limiting ourselves, we live when our mind and heart are connected. So with that said, this is certainly going to blow the top of your mental block.

Have a look at this amazing treehouse castle, and tell me I don’t know what I am talking about. How could extravagant living become any more geeky? It’s the ultimate castle, and if you ever need to compare it with a real castle, don’t bother. They simply can’t be compared. Real castles are for barons, kings and people with wallets the size of a jumbo jet. This castle is a whole different thing. If you save up a little, not much at all, you can actually afford it.

These castles range from $78,800 – $94,600 without customization. It’s not too shabby for such an awesome treehouse castle, right? Imagine inviting your friends and loved ones to your home for the first time. The first impression they will have would be priceless! Their expressions would be worth being framed in your living room for the remainder of your life, truly! So next time you sit down in front of the television, try to tell yourself that everything is possible and then become dedicated. Every dream is built with dedication. The sooner you act on that, the sooner you will see those dreams of yours come true. This treehouse castle is someone’s badass dream come true!

El Caminito del Rey – The World’s Most Dangerous Walkway

El Caminito del Rey or The King’s Little Path, often regarded as the most dangerous walkway in the world, is located along the walls of El Chorro, a gorge in southern Spain near the village of Álora. Construction of the walkway was started in 1901 when it became apparent that workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a mean to cross between the falls, to provide for transport of materials, and for the inspection and maintenance of the channel. The walkway was completed in 1905, but the inauguration did not take place until 1921 when Spanish King Alfonso XIII crossed it and the walkway’s been called The King’s Pathway since.

The walkway is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and rises over 100 meters (350 feet) above the river below. Constructed of concrete resting on steel rails supported by stanchions at around 45 degrees into the rock face, it is currently in a highly deteriorated state and there are numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top has collapsed. The result is large open air gaps that are bridged only by narrow steel beams or other support fixtures. Very few of the original handrails exist but a safety-wire runs the length of the path. This has however turned El Caminito del Rey into an extreme vacations attraction and crossing the whole is an adventure sport for tourists. The walkway is over 3 kilometers long.
After several fatal accidents, the local government closed the path in 2000. But there are still daring hikers who manage to get around the barriers and make their way across the gorge.

Work is now due to start on an 8.3 million euros project to make the pathway safe again and attract more tourists to the area. It will take three years to re-construct and will see the pathway completely rebuilt with hand rails, protective barriers, lighting and a visitors centre.

Friday, March 2, 2012

World’s Longest Tree Top Walk in Bavaria

Opened two years ago in Neuschonau, Bavaria, in Germany, the tree-top walk is the longest of it’s kind at 1300 meters that takes you to an impressive height of 25 meters above the tree tops. The walkway ends at an oval shaped dome, 44 meters high. The 360-degree spiral staircase around the dome offers breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. In clear weather you can even see the north ridge of the Alps. The tree-top walk is a part of the largest protected forest area in central Europe – Bavarian Forest National Park, which is also the first national park in Germany.

The tree-top walk, Baumwipfelpfad in German, begins with a short elevator ride or stair climb to the ticket booth, a mere 8 meter above the parking lot. As hikers begin the leisurely walk down a 1300-meter long wood path, the ground begins to gently fall away -- or so it appears -- as the path inclines almost imperceptibly, making it easily accessible for parents with strollers. It is obvious the creators of the Baumwipfelpfad wanted to make visitors feel a part of the natural environment. The path advances freely through the forest, leaving the mature pines forever undisturbed.

Several adventure stations are placed along the walkway including a narrow wooden plank enticing hardy trekkers to balance on the beam. These obstacles are fully-enclosed with a safety net and offers a rewarding view of the earth 50 feet below. The observation dome is shaped like a giant egg. Once at the top, a spectacular view awaits the visitors.

Beautiful Fortified City of Naarden, The Netherlands

Naarden is a municipality and a town in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands, shaped in the form of a star. This small town is a textbook example of a popular style of fortification that evolved in Europe during the 16th century. Naarden’s star fortification is complete with fortified walls and a moat which are in as good as state as five centuries ago. In fact, Naarden is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe today.

Back in the 13th century, Naarden was a small fortified town overlooking a stretch of dry ground between the sea and the marshes of the river Vecht. This stretch of land was the only route from the east to Amsterdam and its surrounding lands, making Naarden a strategic fortress. But defense works on Naarden were old and poorly maintained.

In the 17th century when the French King Louis XIV with the help of his allies England, Cologne and Munster, invaded the Netherlands, Naarden was taken over easily. At this time the Netherlands were an important economic and political power in western Europe. They captured Utrecht and made it a base to invade the rest of the country from. However, the rest of the invasion was a disaster; the Dutch flooded the land between the rivers and the sea making it impossible for the French to move forward. In 1673 Naarden was back in Dutch hands. After this recapture the fortifications were updated to modern standards. Most of the fortifications that exist today date from this period. During the 19th century the fortifications were updated, resulting in the construction of many new bomb shelters and other army-related buildings like barracks. At the end of the 19th century the increased fire power and range of the artillery made the defenses at Naarden useless. Instead, emphasis was given on bomb shelters most of which still exist.

After the First World War the need for Naarden as a fortress was over. The army left and it was turned into a monument and preserved just in time to prevent it from being demolished. One of the bastions holds a museum about the fortress, which gives a lot of information about the town's history. The museum also gives access to all the tunnels and casemates, making it a must in exploring the fortress. Tours are provided by boat around the lake.

Today, Naarden is one of the remaining bastions in the Netherlands and is the only fortification in Europe that has unique double walls and moats.