Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Bridge On The River Kwai

The Bride over the River Kwai Thailand
Bridge On The River Kwai-Thailand
The Movie made in 1957 by the British is a World WarII movie which won 7 Oscars in 1958 plus 3 more from BAFTA plus another 3 more from Golden Globe and last but not least Grammy's Award for Best Sound Track Album.In addition the film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The movie is based on the building of a bridge in Thailand over  the River Kwai(actually spelt and called Khwae-Yai) by the Japanese using captured British and American Prisoners of War.The Movie was the biggest revenue earner in 1958 grossing US$18  million whereas the number 2 grossed only US$12 Million.The movie was based on a fictional story and the film was shot in Ceylon, now called Si Lanka.With lead role being played by William Holden The Bridge On The River Kwai has immortalised the  place ,making it a top destination among places to travel in Thailand along with other surrounding tourist places.

The Bridge on The River Kwai.
The Japanese had a large army in Burma and to support it with better communications and logistics The  Burma Thailand Railway was conceived and construction started in 1943 using POWs captured during the fall of Singapore. It was one of the most extraordinary engineering achievements of World War II.With unbelievably primitive tools for such a project and a total disregard for human life and suffering, the Japanese built a railway 415 km long through one of most rugged and pestilence-ridden areas of the world in the incredibly short span of 12 months. The cost was a life for every sleeper laid over its most difficult sections. Dead were 13,000 British, Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war and an estimated 70,000 Asian civilian laborers.While the Japanese were pushing hard and aggressively for faster completion of the bridge the Allied Air Force was equally determined to damage the railway and destroy the bridge.
Unexploded Bomb from the Allied Air Attacks on the Bridge Over The River Kwai
Unexploded Bomb from the Unending Air Raids.
2 Bridges were built one wooden and the other steel. Both were bombed by the USAF and the RAF, damaged and again repaired. The bridge was known as Bridge 277 and being a vital link was subjected to maximum bombing. On 28th November 1944 the Japanese were aware of the impending raid because of the earlier observation of Allied spotter planes, and forced all the POW's in the bridge camp to stand on the bridge and wave at the Allied planes in an attempt to prevent a bombing raid. Two of the curved sections of the bridge in the middle of the river were totally destroyed in the raid and later replaced with squared metal sections. Many POW's lost their lives in the raid casualties of the failed Japanese human shield tactic
Unexploded 10,000 lbs Bomb from Allied Air Attack on The Bridge Over The River Kwai
The 10,000 lbs Bombs -Unexploded Remains of the Air Attack
The two bridges were successfully bombed on 13 February 1945 by the Royal Air Force. Repairs were carried out by POW labour and by April the wooden bridge on the River Kwai  was back in operation. On 3 April a second raid by Liberator bombers of the U.S. Army Air Forces damaged the wooden bridge once again. Repair work continued and both bridges were operational again by the end of May. A second raid by the R.A.F. on 24 June put the railway out of commission for the rest of the war.In any case Hiroshima was hit by the Little Boy Atom Bomb on 6th August and the steam went out of the Japanese war machinery.After the Japanese surrender, the British Army removed 3.9 kilometers of track on the Thai-Burma border. A survey of the track had shown that its poor construction would not support commercial traffic. The track was sold to Thai Railways and the 130 km Ban Pong–Namtok section relaid and is in use today. A ride can be enjoyed on the train which passes over the Bridge on the River Kwai.

Japanese Track Inspection Trolley used on The Bridge Over The River Kwai
Original Japanese Track Inspection Trolley at the Bridge
Several museums are dedicated to those who perished building the railway.Approximately 13000 Allied POWs dies during the construction of the railway and there are 3 main cemeteries where the remains were collected and buried.


Axis Leaders Hitler and Mussolini in museum at Bridge On The River Kwai
Statues of the Axis Leaders of WWII .


Japanese WWII Trains used to transport ammunition to Burma at museum near Bridge on the river Kwai
Trains  To Transport Ammunition by The Japs to Burma
World War II trains at museum near Bridge on the River Kwai
World War II Trains in the Museum at The Bridge

Helsinki-The Pocket Sized Metropolis Where East & West Blend


Tuomiokirkko Cathedral, The Symbol of Helsinki
Situated on the Baltic sea, Helsinki is the capital of the Republic of Finland and was declared the World Capital Of Design for 2012 because of the country's stress on incorporating innovative  design in all aspects to life and also because design has always been integral to Finnish life style.Finnish brands like Iittala Glass, Marimekko Fabric and Arabia Finland are found in almost all Finnish homes and Nokia Mobile Phones can be found with  almost 50% of the world population.  Helsinki is a modern European city of culture that is famous especially for its design and high technology. In 2000 Helsinki celebrated it 450 years  and was officially declared the European City of Culture. Finnish Design has made Helsinki famous attracting architecture and design fans from all over the world. All the above make Helsinki a top destination among the places to travel in the Scandinavian countries.
Helsinki Harbour Cruise, Finland
Helsinki is spread across a number of bays and peninsulas and over a number of islands.The sea is an essential part of the personality of Helsinki.The city  is best explored by boat and the cruise takes you around  capital's oldest districts, famous historical buildings, churches, monuments, enormous ice-breakers, and the largest naval fortress in the world, Suomenlinna. In winter the harbour freezes over and the Ice breakers swing into action to keep the harbour open. The ice is at places more than 10feet thick and the Finns dive through ice holes into the water below the ice for a swim to warm themselves.The water is at a temp of 4 degC while the air outside is -35 deg C.The swim is preceded by a sauna bath and followed by a meal of sausage and Karhu beer.
Large Cruise Ships Docked at Helsinki
The Silja line is a Finnish Cruiseferry operating between the Capitals of the Baltic. It carries 3 million passengers and 200,000 cars annually. There is a minor traffic jam outside the terminal when the cars get off and on the ships. Ship building is a major industry in Finland. The world's largest luxury cruise ship,Oasis of the Seas was built in Finland. 16 Storey's high the ship had a displacement of 225000 tons and had 12000 plants-real trees-to bring a feel of nature to the steel structure.
Viking Line Cruise Ship, Helsinki
The Viking Line combines the  two Nordic capitals – Helsinki and Stockholm – by cruising the world’s largest archipelago, between Finland and Sweden. The luxury cruises from Helsinki  to Oslo  and Stockholm offer high-quality cabins (all with shower and toilet), several restaurants and bars, nightclubs with live entertainment, discos, casinos, saunas and swimming pools.
Luxury Cruise Ship Viking Line, Helsinki
One can enjoy the famous Scandinavian Buffet on board which is traditional,plentiful and has special emphasis on freshly caught fish prepared in traditional finish style.Starters include Cold smoked halibut marinated with tomatillo and pineapple, chicken breast roasted with coffee beans, mango chutney and Main Course includes  Minicrabs au gratin in their shells, Chicken fillet with lime and cocoa topped with desserts like Orange pannacotta etc. A sea journey over the Baltic is a unique and unforgettable experience.
Polished Stone Fountain in Helsinki Main City Square
The Old Market Square in Helsinki  is a central square bordered by the Baltic in the south.It is a major market and a tourist attraction in the city.There are many street vendors selling Finnish delicacies,ice cream and beer giving the whole place a festive look.

Main Square, Helsinki
 Major cruise start from the Main Square and also ferries to the various islands which make up Helsinki.The sea gulls at the main square have become quite bold and aggressive and often snatch food and ice creams from the hands of children.

The Rock Church Helsinki
In line with Helsinki being the Capital of Design, the Rock Church  Helsinki is an innovative design as the church is built into solid rock, therefore, it is also known as the Church of the Rock.The Rock Church is a thrilling work of modern architecture. The underground Church is built inside of a massive block of natural granite in the middle of an ordinary residential square.The Rock Church is invisible from the outside with only the copper dome poking out of the top.From the top it looks like a Space saucer is lodged in the ground.The Rock Church is a major tourist place in Helsinki.   






Inside the Church Of The Rock Helsinki
The inside of the Church of  the Rock is circular in shape and the walls are made of raw granite. The ceiling is made of coper wire.The  church is lit with natural light which comes in through 180 window panes connecting the walls to the dome.The acoustics are excellent so much so that sometimes concerts are held here.



Midsummer Festival, Helsinki
Midsummer or Juhannus is when the shortest night of the year occurs and the longest day is ahead. Celebrated in commemoration of St. John, Midsummer centers upon the period of summer solstice  when put up poles embellished with ribbons and flowers. This tradition is one of Finland's most important events. It is also Finland's National Flag Day.It is celebrated on the saturday between 20th and 26th June.

Ferry To Naval Fortress at Suomenlinna, Helsinki
Helsinki was a small unknown town until Sweden decided to build a naval fortress at Suomenlinna for protection from the Russians.The huge number of workers and their supporters started the economic activity and the foundation of Helsinki was laid.
Entrance at Helsinki Fortress Suomenlinna
The fortress of Suomenlinna succeeded in its purpose until one year the sea froze over and Russians walked over and captured Suomenlinna and Finland.Under the Russians Suomenlinna fortress became a lively garrison town and Finland also developed.Today Suomenlinna is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Finland's top tourist places.It is also a district of Helsinki with a permanent population of 800.

Buildings Inside the Suomenlinna Castle Helsinki
There is a movie theatre inside the fortress and movies about the Fortress are shown which include old photographs and film clips, so that the visitors can get a visual feel about the actual happenings at that time. There are some excellent clips of the actual attacks and the happenings.

Esplanade Park ,Helsinki
Esplanade Park   is located between two main streets and surrounded by beautiful Neo-Renaissance buildings, which replaced the old wooden houses in the latter half of the 19th century.There are many fountains and statues of Finnish Poets.There are plenty of Cafes, a couple of restaurants and souvenir shops, and most of the time a lively, loud and melodious concert is going on. The park has plenty of lawns and benches to sit on, plus ice-cream kiosks and beer bars.It is an interesting place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Among the Night Clubs Studio 51 is huge and good but The Arctic Bar ,at a temp of -5deg C is more thrilling.You get gloves upon entering. For Adult entertainment the Club Alcatraz  Helsinki is a good choice. The artistes seem to have undergone ballet training and do the pole dance act quite expertly. Ladies pay 2 Euro and Gentlemen 12 Euro for entrance.

Helsinki is called a pocket sized metropolis with a perfect blend of East and West. East from decades of Russian rule and West from its parent country Sweden.   

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The North East States- Seven Beautiful Sisters In India

The Seven Sisters, states namely Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh comprise the North eastern States of India, each having its own individual characteristics(based on which the area was divided) but also having the same overall culture and interdependence.India has become a top destination among places to travel and the North East is one of the popular tourist places. 
1. The highlights of any trip to Gauhati (Capital of Assam) are the Cruise on the River Brahmaputra with forest covered hills rising on both sides of the river and a Wildlife Trip to the Orang and Kaziranga National Park abode of the one horned Rhinoceros. The Kamakhya Temple-atop the Nilachal Hill- with its tantric rites and animal sacrifice does need a strong heart. Jatinga is the place where birds commit suicide and the most renowned scientists and ornithologist have till today not been able to explain the strange phenomenon.
2. Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, 3 hours by road from Gauhati and having numerous mountains, lakes, waterfalls, caves and gardens has been described as the “Scotland Of The East”. The town at a height of 4500 feet earlier was the Capital of undivided Assam and was developed by the British from 1870 onwards accordingly. The Shillong Peak at 6000 feet is worth visiting for the panoramic view and Cherapunji has the record of being the wettest place on earth with rainfall measured in feet. Rain is mostly at night with days being sunny and bright.
3. Tripura, with its capital at Agartala, has a small area but large population. Tripura shares its boundary on 3 sides with Bangladesh and Assam on the fourth. Tripura is famous for its magnificent palaces out of which Neermahal-water palace-built in the middle of the Rudra Sagar lake is the most adventurous because the only way to approach it is by motor boat
4. Manipur with its capital Imphal-14 hours by road from Gauhati-is surrounded by forest covered hills on all sides. The roads are narrow and surrounded by forests and mountains on all sides. The wild life is typical with some rare species of Deer. Being close to Burma border, the markets are flooded with cheap imported goods. Lake Loktak, 46 KMs from Imphal is an important tourist spot with its floating huts and fishing activities.
5. Mizoram-Land of the Hill People –has its capital at Aizawl and is also referred to as Scotland of The East. It shares its boundary with Bangladesh and Myanmar being the southernmost state of the Northeast .Rolling hills, thick bamboo forests, lakes, rivers, morning mist are the main characteristics of the Highlands. The forests have a large and rich variety of fauna from tigers, elephants, deer etc. Main tourist attractions are the various Lakes (each lake has an enchanting story) and several National Parks and Tiger Reserves.
6. Nagaland with capital at Kohima is home to the people of the warrior Naga tribe. It is also the eastern corner of India and shares the international boundary with Myanmar .The warm and hospitable Nagas are friendly and welcome tourists. Kohima was the place e where the Japanese and British fought fiercely across Tennis Court in the DC Bungalow. The Tennis Court battle was the turning point in the war in the east and there are relics from the time like Tank Museum, WWII Cemetery, DC Bungalow etc. The highest point is 12000 ft high. Overall the terrain is mountainous and covered with forests. Dance, Song and Music are an integral and important part of Naga culture.
7. Arunachal Pradesh shares its boundary with Myanmar, Bhutan, Assam and China. The whole area is claimed by China with India hotly contesting the claim. The mountains become higher as you move north into the Himalayas. The name means the Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains. There is heavy army presence everywhere. Twang, located at 10,000 ft is the northern most towns and has the best views of the mountains, and is a must for visitors. The North Eastern States are about pristine natural beauty which has not suffered much human interference.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Surajkund Crafts Mela,India

The Main Gate,Surajkund Crafts Mela 2012, India
Every year, a state from India is selected as the theme for the Surajkund Crafts fair and the entire ambience is designed accordingly. For 2012, Assam was the theme for the fair. Besides, showcasing handlooms and textiles, artistes and troupes from the north eastern state  performed traditional dance forms.
Rhinoceros Found only in Assam ,India
Organized annually by the Haryana Tourism Department in the month of February,the Surajkund Crafts Mela is a delightful handloom and handicraft fair. It is planned every year to promote the traditional Indian Handicrafts in a rural environment at Surajkund in Faridabad, about 45 minutes drive from  New Delhi. Organized for the first tme in 1981, the Surajkund mela has come along way is today a strong platform for Indian artists and craftsmen to not only display their skills in the  arts and crafts field but also to promote handicraft production and sale.
Colorful Coffee & Tea Mugs
Khurja ,approx 90 KMs from Delhi has developed into a center for Ceramic Mugs. The cluster of small industries, kilns etc produce brightly colored ceramic mugs somtimes with exquisite designs.The prices were quite reasonable at Rs 300 (US$6) for 6 pcs.
Blue Glaze Pottery from Rajasthan
The art of making blue glaze pottery came to Rajasthan via Kashmir. The name comes from the eye-catching Persian blue dye used to color the clay. TheJaipur blue pottery, made out of Egyptian paste, is glazed and low-fired. The colour range is restricted to blue derived from the cobalt oxide although other non-conventional colours, such as yellow and brown are sometimes included.
Printed and Embroidered Kurtas
The  cotton kurta tunics and kurti tops are all hand-crafted in India. (People from India were the first to grow cotton!) Kurtas are available in a wide range  of textures, colors, and sizes. These beautiful Indian tunics and tops are very comfortable and great for any season. 
Exquisitely  Crafted Woodwork Display

Over the centuries, each region in India developed its unique style of wooden structures, carvings and inlay work. The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Kerala figure on this list.Some of the most common motifs engraved wooden items are flower pots, a variety of flowers, parrots, peacocks and pigeons, besides deer, horses and elephants.This particular piece was being sold for Rs 100,000 or US$2000.
Woodwork Crafts,Surajkund, India
In Madhya Pradesh the artisans work on different varieties of wood – teak, dhudi, sal and kikar with great sensitivity and skill, turning them into fabulous works of art. The famous wooden articles of Madhya Pradesh are painted and lacquered toys boxes, bedposts, cradle frames and flower vases, to name a few. Gwalior, Sheopur-Kalan, Rewa and Budhni are the main centres of wood lacquering in the state.
Troupe From Congo


video
Video of Congo Troupe
The fair is not only limited to exhibitions of artwork but also presents the visual delight to its visitors in the form of special folk dances and musical evenings at the open-air theatre.Surajkund Mela offers opportunities to experience the traditional dances and folk art forms of India. The musical evenings at the open-air theatre are a high point of the fair.Troupes from all participating countries and Indian states take part in the musical evenings.
The Uzbegistan Troupe
The 2012 Mela  witnessed the participation of Thailand,Congo and Central Asian republics like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan besides the seven SAARC countries. Artists and artisans from Congo and Central Asian republics like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan participated and performed in the fair. 
Colorful  Fabrics From Kashmir
Kashmir is famous for Pashmina, Shahtoosh and woollens. Among other fabrics silk and tweek are also very famous fabrics of Kashmir.
Handcrafted Handbags
Indian Handmade Bags have become trendy and are known for their lively and vibrant colors which have the power to spice up even an ordinary outfit. The trendy handmade bags come in a variety of designs, shapes and colors and suit ladies of all ages and styles.

Stone Statuettes
These statuettes are crafted using natural stone that are procured from the best quarries of the country.Depending on the location in India the craft has evolved over the years. Sculptre was an integral part of Indian Temples built by various rulers over the centuries and local clusters developed having skill in working on the local stone available.
Wooden Toys
These wooden toys are first handcrafted from wood and then finished using lacquer and color.The coloured lacquerware toys have provided entertainment and knowledge to village children for centuries.
The Tajakistan Stall
The Tajiks share language,culture and history with Afghanistan and Iran and 90% of this Central Asian country is covered with mountains.In the 20th century Tajakistan became a part of the USSR and later got its independence after the breakup of the USSR.Weaving is the most popular craft of Tajakistan.


The Nepal Stall

Nepal  crafts range from stone, wood or metal crafts, textiles, paintings, jewelry, village made crafts and exclusive handmade traditional works

The Hansiba Stall
 Hansiba is the fashion brand of STFC which represents thousands of women with precious skill of hand embroidery & craft. Named after Hansiba, SEWA’s first & senior-most artisan and an inspiring symbol of everything the organization stands for it showcases some of India’s timeless embroidery skills.
The Thailand Stall
The Arts and crafts of Thailand  enrich the country's  cultural heritage and  add to the traditional history of Thailand. Thailand has always enjoyed peaceful regime and this has helped the growth and development of its rich heritage of art and culture.

Afghanistan Stall
Arts and crafts in Afghanistan consist mainly of sculpture, pottery painting and rug making. Afghanistan is world famous for the crafting of ornate rugs and carpets.
Uzbekistan Stall
National arts and crafts occupy a prominent place in the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan. The national arts and crafts include engraving on copper, wood, and plaster-based material; jeweler's arts; carpet making; ceramics; ornamental embroidery, gold embroidery; decorative currying of tanned leather; silk spinning; making of decorative braids; inlaid works on musical instruments; painting on papier-mache; creation of decorative boxes for local tobacco; baskets, cradles, chests, and many other types. Throughout the centuries, handing down of artistic traditions from one generation to the next has never stopped.


The Pakistan Stall
Brass,Onyx and Wood Crafts, Carpets and Weaving, Furniture, Jewellery , Leather and Pottery.These are the crafts which have developed in the area from the Mohenjo Daro times.
The Maldives Stall
The Maldives Crafts consist of Wooden Lacquerware, Boat Building,Mat making from dried colored reeds,art calligraphy and wood  and stone carving.
 The Bhutan Stall
Bhutan has 13 traditional arts and crafts which are known as zorig chususum and are deeply rooted in Budhist philosophy.besides being highly attractive and deorative,the arts are  symbolic and relate to 13 different subjects.
Video Of Mela
video












Thursday, 2 February 2012

San Francisco-Cable Cars, Alcatraz and The Golden Gate Bridge

The triad of Cable Car System, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz have made San Francisco one of the best places to travel in the world with tourists from all over the world coming to personally experience and see the tourist places. San Francisco is also referred to by the name Frisco.

San Francisco cable car
San Francisco Cable Car

The Cable Car System of San Francisco is the only surviving  manually operated Cable Car System in the world. The sight of Cable Cars gliding on steel tracks in the middle of the streets  without any electrical overhead cables or engine noise and smoke makes one curiously wonder as to how the thing moves.Early models had 2 carriages,one having the grip and the brakes and the trailor for passengers.They were built by companies familiar with horse drawn carriages and the front car replaced the horse.
Frisco Cable Car , San Francisco
 The cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters but, their small service area and premium fares  make them more of a tourist attraction.It is the only transportation system listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the only moving National Monument. Cable Car system is one of the most popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, which is the third most visited city of the US.
San Francisco cable car Tracks
San Francisco Cable Car Tracks and Cable, San Francisco
The Cable cars which are built on 4 wheel trucks run on 2 steel tracks in the middle of the streets and in the middle of the tracks runs a steel cable below the ground surface.Every cable car is pulled along it's hilly track by the underground cable. The cable is gripped with a vise-like mechanism that is operated via the grip lever in the front of the car.The operator  called Gripman needs a lot of upper body strength to operate the grip and brakes. Also acute coordination is needed to navigate over crossing cables and the traffic , and only about 25% of the applicants actually make it to be Gripmen. There have been a couple of Gripwomen also. 
Hilly Tracks of the cable cars, San francisco
Hilly Tracks of the Cable Cars, San Francisco
San Francisco is located on the San Andreas fault which is responsible for the earthquakes and also which created the hills. The creator of the cable car system saw five horses struggle up a hilly track  with a heavy load, slip and get dragged down to the bottom and to their deaths.Even when the electric trolleys came ,The Cable car system was the only one which could work on the really steep hills.The diesel buses could  of course take care of all steep hills  and but for the determined efforts of the citizens, the cable cars would have disappeared by now. The two main tracks end at the Fisherman's wharf but at 2 different points.
Fisherman's Wharf Eateries
Eateries At the Fisherman's Wharf ,San Francisco
The Fisherman's Wharf was so named because of the resident fishing fleet which used to go out into the bay to get fish and crabs.The opening of the fishing season was an festive affair and  was marked with a lot of religious processions and priestly blessings. San Francisco is famous for its  Dungeness crab.The eateries at the Fisherman's Wharf still serve the same dishes like Clam Chowder and Crab Meat Cocktails in paper cups as they did three generations ago.
Franciscan Crab Restaurant,San Francisco
Franciscan Crab Restaurant, San Francisco
Sea food is the flavour in San Francisco all around, from the cluster of small eateries to the  fine dining restaurants like the Franciscan Crab Restaurant.
Ferry To Alcatraz, San Francisco
 The ferry to Alcatraz-The Rock- leaves from Pier 33 at the Fisherman's Wharf. Alcatraz is an island 1.5 Km into the ocean and can be reached only by Boat.It was till 1963 a prison, but is now a highly developed recreational area. A Hollywood movie by the name The Rock ,starring Sean Connery is set in Alcatraz and San Francisco in which the cable cars are also involved in a particular carnage scene. An Indian Bollywood movie Qayamat,set in Mumbai -starring Ajay Devgan-is based on the same premise,but with a few twists in the plot.


Submarine USS Pampanito, San Francisco
A WWII Submarine is also anchored at Fisherman's wharf ,which the tourists can enter to see and experience the Submariner's world and life.
Submarine Torpedo Room, San Francisco
Submarine Torpedo Room, San Francisco
The yellow and black cylindrical object is the torpedo.It was a relief  to know there  was no amatol-explosive-in the torpedo.
Submarine Antiaircraft Gun,San Francisco
The Boy Scouts were going to spend the whole night that day locked up inside the submarine for 12 hours so that they could have some feel of being a submariner.


The Rainforest Cafe, San Francisco
Dinner at the The Rain Forest Cafe at the Fisherman's Wharf was quite an adventurous affair and the restaurant chain is quite popular among children. The retaurant has green plants with colorful flowers ,water sprinklers, flashing lights, robotic animals and insects, a large aquarium, ceiling  having optical illusions of a rain forest with a thunderstorm coming every thirty minutes accompanied by a lot of sudden commotion.
Aquarium at Rain Forest Cafe,San Francisco
Aquarium at Rainforest Cafe, San Francisco
The food served ranges from Beef,Chicken, Fish but the most favoured  is the Crab Dip.The most popular dessert at the Rainforest Cafe is the Sparkling Volcano Dessert.
Sparkling Volcano Sundae Dessert
Sparkling Volcano Sundae Dessert,Rainforest Cafe, Frisco
The Sparkling Volcano Sundae  Dessert makes a very dramatic entry with sparks flying from a sparkler and the staff yelling Volcano-Volcano. I believe this is a tradition.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The Golden Gate is the opening of the San Francisco Bay and the bridge over the opening is called the Golden Gate Bridge. It has been the symbol of San Francisco from the time it has been built. It is also the most visitd and most photgraphed bridge in the world. The roadway is hung from two cables that pass through the two gigantic main towers and are fixed in concrete at each end. Each cable is made of 28000 strands of wire and each wire was stung starnd by strand using a bicycle type of contraption  being ridden by an operator at the top most height of the bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge Exit, san Francisco
Exit of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge is acclaimed as one of the  most beautiful bridges. With its gigantic towers, sweeping main cables, and great span, it is a feast for the eyes featuring color, sound, and light. Besides the daily commuter traffic more than nine million visitors come to have a look at the bridge annually i.e average of 25000 tourists per day. 


Pylon
Pylon Anchoring,Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The photograph shows the procedure adopted for anchoring the ends of the suspension cables.The toal load is finally transmitted to the concrete structure shown here. The Fog and the Wind are integral to the Golden Gate and were one of the biggest obstacles in the design and construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Matters Seem More Serious Then They Actually Are.,Golden gate,Frisco
 There are more suicides at Golden Gate Bridge than at any other place in the world. The annual number is about 1500 ,approx 4 per day. The police is able to prevent about 700 suicides every year by catching and the person in the nick of time and subsequent counselling. 
San Francisco From The Top Of  a Hill
San Francisco has several hills, most of them very steep, but  only seven  of them are original and popular among tourists e.g Telegraph Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin peaks, Mount Sutro and Nob Hill (sometimes called Snob Hill, beause of its affluent  resident's attitude). One hill has  Lombard  Street  ,which with its 8 hairpin turns is known as the crooked street. Vermont Street is much more steep,has 7 hairpin turns, and is known as the crookedest in the world.
In the evening a short train ride took us to the Berkeley University and after exploring the campus, rounded it off with dinner at China Village, a Chinese food restaurant with some strict regulations and rules, and  a take it or leave it attitude. The food was better than excellent.
All the above attractions make San Francisco the top destination for tourism and ranks 3rd amongst the tourist places of the US interms of numbers.