Top 10 Places You MUST Visit In London Without Doubt

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Want to fit the best of London in your two-week vacation? Here is a list of the best places you must visit in London. Without visiting these, a trip to this city is more than just incomplete.

Did You Know?

The London Underground is globally the oldest underground railway network.


When we say just ‘London’, it can mean either the City of London (1.12 sq mi in area) or Greater London, which is an administrative area that exceeds borders of the city. In this article, we talk about Greater London.

1. Buckingham Palace

Perhaps the most famous palaces in the world, Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. State rooms are open to visitors only during the Palace’s Summer Opening, which takes place in most of August and September. However, if you are heading to the palace at a different time, you can witness ‘Changing of the Guard’, where the guard is changed daily from April to July, and on alternate days from August to March.

2. British Museum

This museum showcases works from the birth of human civilization to the modern age, and has contributions from all continents of the world. The main attractions include the much debated Parthenon Marbles (Elgin Marbles), Mummy of Cleopatra from Thebes, and the Rosetta Stone. Entry to the museum is free.

3. London Eye

The 32 capsules on the London Eye, carry almost 10,000 visitors every day. Due to its 360°-rotation ability, you can almost see the entire city of London, when you reach at the top. Until the Shard’s privately-operated deck opened in 2013, The London Eye was the tallest public viewing point.

4. London Zoo

The world’s oldest scientific zoo, The London Zoo consists of more than 16,000 different types of animals and birds. This is also one of the best places for children, as you can book a VIP encounter with the animals for them. And what’s more? You can also stay overnight at the zoo in Lookout Lodge.

5. Sir John Soane’s Museum

Other than shopping in the streets of London, one of the best things to do is to check out Sir John Soane’s Museum. Sir John Soane was an architect and an avid collector of curios. During the time he lived, he has collected some of the best antiquities from all the four corners of the world. These antiquities can now be seen in the museum, which was the architect’s former home. Visit the museum on the first Tuesday evening of every month; the house is lit by candles.

6. Madame Tussauds

At Madame Tussauds, you’ll see some of the world’s greatest icons face to face. From Queen Elizabeth to Michael Jackson, you’ll meet the world’s most influential personalities from the field of sports, history, entertainment, etc. Sing along with Madonna, play football with Beckham, and click a photograph with her majesty Queen Elizabeth.

7. Elizabeth Tower (Nickname: Big Ben)

The great bell of the clock at the Palace of Westminster, the Big Ben is one of the most prominent symbols of London. In 2012, it was renamed from ‘Clock Tower’ to ‘Elizabeth Tower’, during the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. On 17th April, 2013, during the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, the bells were silenced to mark ‘profound dignity and deep respect’.

8. Tate Modern

A modern art gallery, you can reach Tate Modern via the wobbly Millennium Bridge. This can be quite a controversial visit because it has exhibitions of all kinds. Some are for art lovers and some of them are completely for adults. It is globally the most-visited modern art gallery; expect a lot of surprises.

9. Kensington Palace

This magnificent palace has been home to the royal family for more than 300 years and some parts of the palace still exist as private residences. The beautiful state apartments and Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which contains the dresses worn by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana are open to the public. It is now the official royal residence of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son Prince George of Cambridge.

10. Westminster Abbey

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is where all monarchs are crowned, buried, and sometimes married, since 1066. The last wedding to take place at the site was of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

With a look at these top places to visit, you must have realized that London is a traveler’s delight. Make sure you at least get a glimpse of these wonders while in the city. Happy Traveling!

Antarctica Facts – Uncover the Secrets of This Icy Land

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Looking for some ‘cool’ Antarctica facts and information? This icy land has many interesting facts that will surprise you. The following article on Antarctica will uncover some secrets of the white icy planes.

Antarctica is a continent right at the bottom of the earth. It is the fifth largest continent on the earth and has a total area of 14 million km2. The South Pole lies in Antarctica and it is the coldest place on earth. The lowest temperature of Antarctica that has been measured till date was -128.6 ºF in 1983. Even the summer temperatures range -40 to -94 ºF in the inland and -5 to -22 ºF on the coastal areas. Scientists believe that once Antarctica was a part of the southern continents, that is the Gondwanaland and had warm climates. It broke off from the mainlands and drifted towards the south pole. The scientists can say this because of the fossilized plants and animals found in Antarctica.

Antarctica soil is covered with over 98% of ice and contains 70% of the freshwater in its icecap. You will be surprised to know that Antarctica is bigger than Australia and Europe. It is about one and a half times the size of United States and is the fifth largest continent on Earth. Because of the extreme cold climate of Antarctica, only a few insects survive in the interior regions. Penguins and seals live on the coast of Antarctica. There aquatic life is full of different species of fish and whales, which migrate to the Antarctica waters in summers. Antarctica has a hostile climate. The only humans found in Antarctica are researchers, scientist, biologists, etc. During the warm months many tourist folk to the icy lands of Antarctica.

Let us see some more interesting Antarctica facts for children with images.

Iceberg Landscape

Iceberg Landscape

Arch Shaped Iceberg

Arch Shaped Iceberg

Sunset In Antarctica

Sunset In Antarctica

Icebreaker Ship in Antarctica

Icebreaker Ship in Antarctica

South Pole

South Pole

Killer Whale in Ocean

Killer Whale in Ocean

Weddell Seal

Weddell Seal

Penguins and Seals

Penguins And Seals

Crabeater Seal

Crabeater Seal

Penguin Couple


Elephant Seals

Elephant Seals

Chile Flag in Antarctica

Chile Flag in Antarctica

Fast Facts About Antarctica

You will be surprised to know, Antarctica has been discovered just 191 years ago. The ancient Greeks did not figure out Antarctica on their maps. It was only in 1820, when explorers stumbled upon this icy mass. An Estonian-born captain of the Imperial Russian Navy, Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen was the first person to sight Antarctica on 27 January 1820.

However, there is a dispute as to who set foot on the continent first. The first person to set foot on this continent was John Davis, an American sealer (on 7th February 1821). It is said, the first man to ever set his foot on Antarctica was Henry Bull and his party in 1895. Before Henry, no man had ever set his foot on the cold lands of Antarctica at Cape Adare. The first women to visit Antarctica was, in 1935, Catherine Mikkelson, who was the wife of a Norwegian whaling captain. However, they were supposed to be unknown to the fact that John Davis had claimed to walk on the Antarctic Peninsula earlier in 1821! The first ship to reach the geographic South Pole was Fram in an expedition led by Norwegian polar explorer, Ronal Amundsen. He reached the South Pole on 14th December 1911.

The ‘white continent’, in spite of containing 70% of the world’s freshwater content, is the driest place on earth. It is a desolate, windy and remote continent that has a rich marine life. The recorded gusts of winds of Antarctica are up to 327 km/hr, making it one of the windiest places on earth. There are hundreds of penguins living off the coast of Antarctica and 6 different species of seals that share the white lands. The water is home to 9 types of whales and many species of birds, like the albatrosses who are found living on the coast of Antarctica.

The region of Antarctica that is below 60 degrees south has 1 longest day and night every year. The day and night are so long, that the sun rises in the month of October and sets in the month of March! Antarctica is supposed to be the windiest continent and has the highest elevation in the world. It is considered to be a desert with only 1,000 to 5,000 people residing on its land. These people are mostly explorers and scientists who live in research stations. The Mawson station is said to be the windiest place on earth. The average wind speed is calculated at 37 kmph (23 mph) and the maximum gust recorded was about 154 mph.

The warm-blooded animals like whales, penguins and seals living on and off the coast of Antarctica have thick layers of fat called blubber. This blubber helps insulate these animals from the bitter cold. An interesting Antarctica fact is about the Emperor penguin. It is the only warm-blooded animal to live in Antarctica during the harsh winters. The female lays one egg in June and goes off to the sea for the entire winter. The male penguins stays back on land and keeps their eggs warm. The eggs are kept warm in a peculiar way by balancing the egg on their feet and covering it with a flap of their abdominal skin. The male penguins survive the extremely inhospitable conditions without food and water for 9 weeks! The females return just in time when the eggs hatch. The krill is one of the most important animals of Antarctica. This tiny crustacean is the main source of food for seals whales and penguins.

Antarctica glaciers are giant ice waves that flow towards the sea very slowly. Antarctica is the highest continent in the world averaging about 2300 meters above sea level. This is due to the massive ice cap covering the entire white land. Vinson Massif, with a height of 4900 m, is the highest peak of Antarctica. The continent is extremely cold because 80% of the radiation from the sun reaching Antarctica is reflected back in space. This refection is due to the ice and snow covering Antarctica. The other 20% is absorbed by the atmosphere or reflected by the coverings of clouds.

Antarctica does not belong to any particular country. Twelve nations had signed a treaty called ‘The Antarctica Treaty’ that helps regulate the research activity, economic exploitation and territorial claims in Antarctica. There is no official language of Antarctica and no official currency. There are no legislative bodies or advisory committee of Antarctica. Ships are the major source of transportation. The best place to study meteorites is Antarctica. They are clearly visible on the white sheets of ice. The meteorites do not get covered by vegetation and get trapped into the ice, thus making it very easy to study meteorites in detail.

Well, these were a few Antarctica facts and information that must have amazed you. Antarctica is the biggest laboratory of the world with over 4000 scientists working on different projects. Another fact that is always a point of confusion is that polar bears and Eskimos are native to the Arctic and NOT the Antarctica. I hope you have found many useful and cool facts, and information about Antarctica in this article.

Differences – “Principle” or “Principal”?

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When to use principal and principle is one of the most confusing things about the English language. This article will attempt to remove this confusion once and for all!

Are you one of those who think that the English language is sometimes unnecessarily complicated? Do you despise homonyms, because you get thoroughly confused about when to use what? And of the homonyms, the ever present confusion is about the use of ‘principle’ and ‘principal’. When should one use the ‘le’ and when is it right to use the ‘al’? Can one get a set of basic English grammar rules, to explain how one should go about the use of these two utterly perplexing words? Well, your queries will all be answered in this Buzzle article. Clear your mind, and get ready to get rid of the whole principal and principle confusion.

Principle or Principal: What to Use and When

During the course of your numerous grammar classes, I’m sure you’ve pondered about when to use the word principle, and when to use the word principal. And when you didn’t understand, you conveniently decided to use an alternative altogether. Given below are some simple rules that will help you in understanding the concept clearly. Also given are a few sentences for practice, so that you can check if you’ve understood them or not.

Principle Principal
The word principle, can be used only as a noun. The word principal, as far as being classified as a part of speech is concerned, can be used as a noun and as an adjective.
Since principle is a noun, it can freely be used as a plural. The adjective form of the word principal can never be used in plural. Only the noun form can be used in plural.
The meaning of the noun principle is something that has been accepted, by and large as a rule, generalization, or a generality. It also stands for a moral code of conduct that a person believes in and follows.

Also, any fundamental law that a particular phenomenon works by is a principle.

Apart from those meanings; precept, rationale, tenet, doctrine, etc. are others.

The adjective principal, means something that is very important, or primary to an issue.

Other meanings are chief, main, etc.

The noun principal can mean the head educator of a school, as in, principal of a school”.

It has another meaning too. It is the original debt amount of a loan, minus any interest on it.

Antonyms: Dishonor, unethical, immorality, etc. Antonyms: Unimportant, trivial, secondary, etc.

  • Sara is a woman of principles.
  • The principles of gravity are well explained in this book.
  • He always followed a set of principles, whether it was at work, or at home.

  • The principal of the school held a staff meeting.
  • The principal reason for my being here, is to discuss the deteriorating condition of the city’s roads.
  • The principal amount that you owe me is $4500.

Hope that table explaining the basics of using principle and principal in English has helped to clear your doubts. It’s really very simple if you pay good attention, and know exactly what you want to say. Sometimes, you might know what you want to say, but may make a small typing error. Your word processor might automatically correct it to something different, by using the closest available matches. So remember to check and recheck what you have typed.

An Exercise

Now for the testing. Given below are some sentences in which you need to use either of the two: principle or principal. Try it out and find out if you’ve really understood. If not, then go back up and read once again!

  1. The ________ of the high school was on leave.
  2. Phoebe says in the famous sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, “If I don’t have my _______, then I don’t have anything.”
  3. It all boils down to the basic ________ of life.
  4. Mr. Smith was the ________ addresser at the meeting.
  5. The _______ was $7512. So, I will not pay any interest.
  6. _________ and scruples mean almost the same thing.

Answers: 1-Principal , 2-Principles ,3-Principles , 4-Principal, 5-Principal, – 6-Principles

With that exercise and those explanations, you’re sure to have understood, and solved the dilemma that you were in regarding these two rather confusing words. So go on, and help as many people you can!

Interesting Facts About Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico is a popularly loved tourist destination, and is well-known for its vast, majestic beaches. The island is embedded with various interesting features…

Puerto Rico, also known as the ‘Island of Enchantment’ is a Caribbean island, situated east of the Dominican Republic and West of the British Virgin Islands. Puerto is actually an archipelago, within another archipelago called Antilles. This means Puerto Rico is a group of islands, situated within another set of Antilles islands. The Puerto Rican archipelago includes the main Puerto Rico island and smaller islands like Vieques, Culebrita, Culebra, the Spanish Virgin Islands, Desecheo, Mona, etc. The Puerto Rican archipelago is 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, with mostly flat coastal areas and mountainous interiors. Over 3.9 million people inhabit the island of Puerto Rico, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world. Moreover, the standard of living in Puerto Rico happens to be amongst the highest in the West. Here are a few well-known and mesmerizing Puerto Rico facts.

Some Interesting Facts about Puerto Rico


Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 19th, 1493, during his second voyage to the new world. At the time of his discovery, the archipelago was inhabited by Taíno Indians, who called it ‘Borinquen’. Columbus renamed the archipelago as “San Juan Bautista” for St. John the Baptist; claimed it for Spain and never returned. It was in the early 1500s, when the Spanish (Juan Ponce de León and his men) invaded the archipelago. This invasion brought rich Spanish culture into the land of Puerto Rico. Cuisine, music, language, lifestyle, etc. of the Taíno Indians were influenced in a remarkable manner by the Spanish.

The Spanish invaders were also the ones responsible for introducing trade, legal systems, government systems, etc. into the land. They also brought in the Africans into Puerto Rico, primarily as slaves; to look for gold, plant and harvest crops. This again added to the diversity. Later, the archipelago was named Puerto Rico (meaning ‘rich port’) by the Spanish, due to its worth as an important sea port.


Puerto Rico is US territory

Puerto Rico has never been an independent nation. From 1493, when it was discovered by Christopher Columbus, it was a part of Spain for over 400 years. The arrival of American troops in the year 1898 marked another historic event in the history of Puerto Rico. With the end of the American-Spanish War in 1898, Puerto Rico became a part of the United States. Today, Puerto Rico is a freely associated territory of the United States. Moreover, since 1917, Puerto Ricans were given American citizenship. As US citizens, Puerto Ricans have to abide by most federal laws, as required by all US citizens. The head of State in Puerto Rico is by default the President of the US.


No passports required for US citizens

Since Puerto Rico is the commonwealth of the US, US citizens can travel to Puerto Rico and back without passports. All they require is a photo identification proof! Moreover, after the invasion of the US, the US dollar has become the official currency of Puerto Rico. But even after 100 years of using the American dollar, the locals still refer to their currency as ‘peso’. The American tourists are the ones who are grateful that USD is the currency of the land. This eliminates the unnecessary hassle of converting currency during their visit. Puerto Rico also uses the US postal service.


Puerto Ricans don’t call themselves Americans

Puerto Ricans consider themselves Americans, however, they don’t usually call themselves so. They are proud of their individuality and also like to assert their independence. They call themselves Puertorriqueños or Boricuas, as a cultural affirmation. When they say ‘my country’, they are actually referring to Puerto Rico and not the United States. The Puerto Ricans are a blend of Spanish, Taino Indian and African cultures. They don’t consider themselves of any race, but call themselves Puerto Ricans. However, the numbers calling themselves black or American Indians have risen considerably in the last decade.


Official Language is Spanish and English

Both Spanish and English are the official languages of the island, however, Spanish is undoubtedly predominant. Puerto Ricans have their own version of Spanish, as several Taíno words have been incorporated into the language, with pronunciation being slightly influenced by the African dialects. The US authorities tried enforcing the English language as the medium of instruction in schools, however, the Puerto Ricans were far from relenting. Today, Spanish is the primary language of instruction and English is the second language, taught in all public and private schools. However, in all federal proceedings, English is the official language. Almost 90% of the population converses in Spanish all the time, unless they have no option but to speak in English. This is because the locals are shy of conversing in English, even if they know it.


Puerto Rican Holidays

Puerto Ricans love partying, thus, festivities are carried on frequently across the islands. Their festivals are categorized into three types: national holidays, harvest festivals and patron saint festivals. Since Puerto Rico was discovered on November 19th, Puerto Ricans observe this day as a national holiday. July 4th is also an official holiday, however, it’s a comparatively low-key event. Besides these national holidays, Puerto Rico also observes another 22 official holidays. What’s interesting about Puerto Rican holidays are that quite a few national holidays are held on Mondays, so that the locals get a longer weekend! There are about 25 patron saint festivals, each town celebrating at least one on a grand scale. Mainly based on Catholic saints, these festivals include dance, music, plays, banquets, delectable delicacies and religious processions, which go on for ten days. Harvest festivals are celebrated to mark the end of the harvest season.


San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico

Located in the northern region of the island, San Juan was founded in the year 1521. The city was encircled by various walls and forts, to protect its wealth within. Being the second oldest city in the US, San Juan has also been titled as one of the world’s busiest cruise-ship ports. It is divided into two regions: new and old. The latter is marked off as national historic zone due to its museums and other historic treasures. The former is the business hub of Puerto Rico, with hotels, offices, refineries and neighborhoods. Besides San Juan, the other important cities in Puerto Rico are Caguas, Bayamon, Ponce, Arecibo and Cayey.


Puerto Rico has won the ‘Miss Universe Title’ 5 times

Although Puerto Rico is a US territory and has USD as its currency, it competes as an individual nation globally. Puerto Rico has won the Miss Universe title five times: Marisol Malaret (1970), Deborah Carthy-Deu (1985), Dayanara Torres (1993), Denisse Quiñones (2001), and Zuleyka Rivera (2006). It even hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 1972, and became the first Latin American country to host this contest. Moreover, it has its own Olympic team as well, which has won a total of 6 medals.


Tiny tree frog is the unofficial mascot

The unofficial mascot of the island is a tiny tree frog called ‘Coqui’, that measures only one inch in length. This frog is a cute and popularly loved symbol of the island. Its powerful melodic voice and high-pitched song can be heard for miles on the island. The sound it makes creates romantic evenings across the island. These frogs sing all through the night until dawn. Coqui frogs get their name from the melodious sound ‘ko-kee’ that they make. However, one should note that it’s only the males that sing and not the females. Coqui may be brown, green or yellow in color. They lack webbing between their toes, thus, are incapable of swimming. Although native to Puerto Rico, these frogs have been introduced to places like Hawaii, Florida, Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic.


Puerto Rican Cuisine

Puerto Rican cuisine or cocina criolla (as termed by the locals) is unique, even though it is a blend of Spanish, African, Taíno Indian, American and culinary traditions. This is due to the addition of indigenous ingredients such as papaya, apio, plantains, coriander, cocoa and nispero, that give the cuisine its authentic island flavor. A thick sauce called sofrito, which is a combination of tomatoes, lean cured ham, onions, peppers, cilantro and garlic, is used to season most dishes. Arroz con Gandules is the national dish of Puerto Rico, which is a rice, pigeon pea and pork shoulder dish. It’s seasoned with sofrito and diced ham. No Puerto Rican festival is complete without this dish. Puerto Rican food is very palatable, however, happens to be high in fat and sugar. The locals adopted the frying method of cooking from the Americans. The dessert popular in this region is the famous Spanish flan. Besides this there are several guava dessert variations as well. However, the younger generations are adopting American fast food culture.


Puerto Rican Culture

Puerto Ricans generally greet their family and close friends with a kiss on the cheek. They also consider it respectful to stand very close to someone during a conversation. Moreover, hand gestures are an important component of communication to them. Puerto Ricans do not find it offensive to ask personal questions during conversations. In terms of family bonding, the ties between family members are strong. Puerto Ricans have a lot of respect for their elders and ensure they come together for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. Puerto Ricans are warm, friendly and hospitable. Tourists are welcomed wholeheartedly. Moreover, locals living in tourist areas speak to tourists in English, which solves the problem of communication in the land.


Cockfighthing is legal in Puerto Rico

Just as bullfighting is an integral part of Spanish culture, cockfighting is the most popular pastime on the island of Puerto Rico. In fact, almost every town has its own coliseum built for rooster fights. In Puerto Rico, cockfighting is considered to be a ‘gentleman’s sport’ and is legal, unlike other parts of the United States. In 2007, a new law was signed, which confirmed the sport’s legality across the island.


World’s Largest Telescope in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico houses the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, measuring 1000 feet in diameter and spanning almost 20 acres. Named Arecibo radio telescope, this astronomical observatory was inaugurated in 1963. It is also the most sensitive radio telescope in the world and has the capability of accurately predicting, when and where an asteroid would hit the Earth! Moreover, this enormous telescope was shown in movies; Golden Eye and Contact.


Arecibo to soon lose its title to FAST

Since 1963, Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory has been enjoying the title of the ‘World’s Largest Radio Telescope’. However, the Chinese have been working diligently towards construction of a larger radio telescope, which is due for completion in 2016. China’s FAST has a diameter of 1650 feet and will be able to survey the skies 10 times faster than Arecibo and see 3 times more into space. It will also be able to change the shape of its reflecting surface, thereby giving it the flexibility to survey the skies better. This behemoth radio telescope is expected to unravel information about various new galaxies, etc. which are as far as 7 billion years away!


Extensive Beachfront

The island comprises 270 miles of pristine beachfront, known for its quality and vastness. The variety of beaches is simply overwhelming. There are beaches for all here; right from calm and peaceful beaches to world-class surfing beaches. Playa de Ponce is the best beach for swimming, Playa Higüero is famous for surfing, while Playa Esperanza is great for snorkeling. Depending on how one intends to spend one’s time, one can take a pick. Black, magnetic sand beaches, beaches with rusty military tank color and many more majestic beaches are housed by the island. These glorious beaches make Puerto Rico a favorite tourist destination. Moreover, Puerto Rico participates in the Blue Flag program, wherein, beaches have to maintain a high maintenance standard to be labeled as a blue flag beach.


Beaches of Puerto Rico house endangered turtles

Islands of Vieques and Culebra are nesting grounds for the endangered leatherback sea turtles. These leatherback sea turtles are not only the largest turtle type, but also the largest living reptile in the world. In the month of May, female turtles come onshore and lay their eggs. Baby turtles hatch out and move towards the sea. The government and local authorities have realized how important protecting these nesting grounds are, for the survival of this species. Thus, they ensure the beaches are protected in the best possible manner, so that the baby turtles live to produce the next generation. However, development on the coast of Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor, can prove harmful to the very existence of these endangered species. This is why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may declare the Northeast Ecological Corridor as critical habitat.


Largest Rum Distillery is in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the rum capital of the world. Producing over 100,000 tons of rum every year, the Bacardi rum factory in San Juan, is the largest rum distillery in the world. The archipelago is known for its fine rums and cocktails, however, it takes a lot of discipline and skill to make the best tasting rum in the world. Each step in the rum production process is governed and monitored by the law. The factory entertains tourists and takes them for a tour (with free drinks) around the factory, showing them rum making and aging process. The visitors are also get a taste of the world-famous rum! Isn’t that cool!

Puerto Rico As a Popular Tourist Destination

  • San Juan skyline
  • San Juan skyline
  • Flamenco beach Culebra Island
  • Flamenco beach, Culebra Island
  • El Morro castle
  • El Morro castle, San Juan
  • Arecibo radiotelescope
  • Arecibo radiotelescope
  • Red beach Santorini
  • Red beach, Santorini
  • Gran Canaria
  • Gran Canaria
  • Guajataca forest reserve trail
  • Guajataca forest reserve trail
  • El Yunque national forest
  • El Yunque national forest
  • La mina falls
  • La mina falls
  • Old San Juan
  • Buildings in old San Juan


Puerto Rico welcomes over ‘One Million Visitors’ every year. Tourists have a lot of places to visit in Puerto Rico. Right from El Yunque (only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System), dry forest of Guanica, island of Vieques, to the El Morro Castle, Raices fountain, etc. in old San Juan, there is just so much to visit once you step into the archipelago. Puerto Rico is a hurricane prone island and should be avoided during the hurricane season, from June to November. Winter is the peak tourist season. However, to avoid the crowds, it is best to visit this island in spring or late fall. The vibrant, bilingual, modern, multicultural society of Puerto Rico continues to lure tourists from across the globe.

The land of Puerto Rico is a truly mesmerizing place! It’s a land rich in culture and diversity! As one unravels various faucets, the islands just enchant you further. Hope these facts about Puerto Rico were interesting and educative!

Facts About the Dominican Republic

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To be honest, everything about the Dominican Republic is no less than a fact. With an accidental discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492, to an interesting yet sad history, this country is loaded with information that will make you marvel. This Buzzle article contains some of the many interesting facts about the Dominican Republic.

Did You Know?

The Dominican Republic music is known as Merengue, which is a Spanish word for whipped egg whites in sugar, like the English word, ‘meringue’. Though it is unclear why this name was kept for their music, this lively, joyful, and uplifting music and dance forms an integral part of their culture and spirit.

The Dominican Republic, also known as Dominicana Republica, it is the second largest Caribbean nation after Cuba and is situated on the island of Hispaniola. It also shares the Caribbean island with Haiti, making the island of Hispaniola being the one island shared by two different countries! Christopher Columbus explored the Dominican Republic in 1492. The country was taken over by the French, and even the land of Haiti, but after the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, the country was victorious over the enemy.

Each and every facet of this land is an intriguing story. The island of La Hispaniola, as it was named in the colonial times, has seen a lot of changes, brutality, conspiracies, and downfalls to become ‘La República Dominicana’ after gaining independence. Even after that, the country had to endure a lot of chaos in terms of political instability, subduing government, and a poor and unstable economy. However, now, this nation is a democratic nation, with tourism and agriculture being the main sources of economic revenue.

Basic Facts about the Dominican Republic

Details Fact Information
Capital Santo Domingo
Area 48,442 Square Kilometers
Government Democratic Republic
Independence February 27, 1844
Language Spanish
Sport Baseball
National Bird Cigua Palmera, the Palmchat, in English
National Flower Bayahibe Rose
National Tree West Indian Mahogany
Ethnic Groups White 16%, Black 11%, Mixed 73%
Population 10,349,741 (July 2014 est.)
Religion Roman Catholic (95%)
Motto “Dios, Patria, Libertad”, which means “God, Fatherland, Liberty”.
Currency Dominican Peso
Climate Mostly tropical climate; a little variation in seasonal temperature; there is noticeable seasonal variation in the rainfall as well.

Fun Facts about the Dominican Republic for Kids

While the aforementioned section has given you the basic information of this country, there are a lot of fun-tastic facts associated with the Dominican Republic. Below is a list of some of these amazingly interesting facts.

The national anthem of the Dominican Republic is Himno Nacional. Surprisingly, the term ‘Dominican’ doesn’t appear even once in their anthem.

The name of this country is often abbreviated, and the shortened version, ‘D.R.’ is used instead.

The climate of the Dominican Republic is often known as the “endless summer”. This is because of the constant sunny and tropical climate that it has.

Before Columbus discovered this island, the Taíno Indians resided there. They were extremely friendly people who welcomed Columbus and his crew members to the island, and bestowed their generous hospitality on them.

The word ‘Taíno’ meant ‘good’ or ‘noble’ in the local language of these natives, which they were; however, the Spaniards did not reciprocate their gesture.

Before Columbus discovered the island on December 5, 1492 and named it ‘Hispaniola’, the Taíno Indians called it Quisqueya, Haití, or Bohío. Quisqueya meant ‘Mother of all Lands’ in their native tongue. This word also appears in the national anthem of D.R. as another name of the country.

Remember the Pirates of the Caribbean? In the mid-17th century, the island of Tortuga, which is located in the west of Cap Haitien, became the main spot for the pirates of the Caribbean. Here, they recruited people for raiding Spanish treasure ships. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this place was their headquarter.

The “Dominican flag” is what the traditional dish of the Dominican Republic is known as. It contains rice, beans, plantains, and meat.

Their food consists of seafood, plantains, rice, stews, casseroles, and meat dishes. Their cuisine is a blend of traditional Taíno, African, and Latin American recipes.

This country has given the world some of the renowned artists, be it in music, writing, sports, or painting. Some of them include: Julia Alvarez, Juan Marichal, Albert Pujols, Juan Luis Guerra, and many more.

The Dominican Republic only comes after the United States, when it comes to the number of Major League Baseball (MLB) players.

The first MLB player from this country was Ozzie Virgil, Sr. However, in spite of so many players in MLB, as of now, Juan Marichal is the only Dominican player who is a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Some Serious Dominican Republic Facts

Yes, we have more interesting information on this Caribbean country. It just doesn’t end here …

The flag of the Dominican Republic is the only flag in the world to bear the image of the Holy Bible. The Bible symbolizes truth and light, and the Golden Cross above it represents redemption from the bondage of slavery.

The flag consists of three colors: blue, red, and white. Blue symbolizes God’s protection, red represents the blood of the liberators shed for the country, and white represents the struggle of the liberators so that their descendants could live in a free nation.

Santo Domingo happens to be the oldest place where European settlement took place when it comes to the Western Hemisphere, in the year 1496.

There are four dates of independence in this country: (i) December 1, 1821, when it got independence from Spain; (ii) February 27, 1844, when it got independence from Haiti; (iii) August 16, 1863, when it again got independence from Spain, which was recognized on March 3, 1865; and (iv) On July 12, 1924 when it was freed from the political interference from the United States. Nonetheless, February 27, 1844 is their official Independence Day.

The Dominican Republic is also called La República Dominicana and is one of the only two countries that has a demonym-based adjectival name. The other country is the Central African Republic.

The main holidays in the Dominican Republic are February 27, Independence Day; January 26, Duarte’s Day as Juan Pablo Duarte was one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic; January 21, in honor of its patroness “Our Lady of Altagracia”; August 16, Restoration Day; and November 6, Constitution Day.

In 2006, Bajos De Haina, which is a town in the Dominican Republic, was included in the list of the top 10 most polluted places in the world by the Blacksmith Institute, an environmental institution, due to lead poisoning.

The longest river in the Dominican Republic is the Yaque del Norte, which is also considered to be the most important river in the nation.

The Dominican Republic is known for its sugar processing, which is one of the main industries in the country. Apart from that, other main industries are tourism, tobacco, ferronickel and gold mining, cement, textiles, etc.

The Dominicans usually stay in joint families, and family values and traditions are very important to them. Even when you visit the place, the hospitality and friendliness of the people around would touch your hearts for sure. Which is why, this place is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. You would not only fall in love with the climate and scenic beauty of this place, but also enjoy everything else in this country. If you want peace and serenity or if you want some lively zing through some amazing nightlife culture or carnival parades, you will get everything here. No wonder the tourism sector of this country is booming unceasingly!

Unknown Facts About Uruguay

Uruguay, is a South American country that truly has the whole package. An interesting history, some breathtaking geography, and, of course, its own unique culture. There are many facts about this country that are unknown. Let’s get to know it a little better.

Unusual Uruguay

It is against the law to harm dogs in Uruguay. Stray dogs are well-fed, and extremely healthy ones are even shipped to train and become hunting dogs.

Uruguay’s struggle for independence, its culture, its importance in Latin America, and other such aspects are truly fascinating. In this article, we have attempted to throw light on some of these facts about Uruguay, which will be a sound addition to your knowledge bank about it.


First, let us begin with some basic information about Uruguay, which will help you to understand the fundamentals of the country better. So, here are some geography related facts that you might like to know.

  • Area-wise, Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, bigger than only Suriname.
  • Cerro Catedral is the highest point in Uruguay, which lies in Sierra Carapé, a hill range in southern Uruguay.
  • Its area is around 176,220 sq. km., which is even smaller than Washington state.
  • The capital city of Uruguay is Montevideo. Almost 85% of the population of Uruguay resides in its capital city.
  • The Uruguayan Peso is the currency here.
  • The topography of Uruguay includes land forms like plains, and low hills. High mountains are not found much.
  • Uruguay enjoys a temperate climate.
  • A majority of the population thrives on agriculture.
  • The type of government operational in Uruguay, is a Constitutional Republic.
  • Major exports of Uruguay include wool, rice, leather and meat.
  • Industries of petroleum, transport equipment and food processing etc., flourish here.
  • It has a coastline of just 193 km on the Atlantic ocean.


After geography, let’s move on to the next logical information that you would like to know. Namely, the history of this country. Uruguay has a history filled with violent struggles for freedom. Let’s read a little about this history in the following facts.

  • First inhabited by people from different races, Portugal conquered Uruguay in 1680.
  • Spain defeated Portugal, and took over Uruguay in 1778.
  • Uruguay began an uprising against the Spanish colonists, but were defeated by Portuguese, who came from Brazil.
  • Finally, after a prolonged struggle, Uruguay achieved its freedom in 1825, with aid from Argentina.
  • It became a republic in 1828.
  • Even after gaining independence there was a lot of internal conflict in the country.
  • From violent militia, to left-wing terrorist rule, this country has seen it all, in the years succeeding 1973.
  • Then, in 1985, after 12 years of struggle, and revolts, finally a civilian government was elected, and it now is a Constitutional Republic.


It is the culture of a country that makes it distinct from the others. It is the culture that binds citizens of the same country, even if they happen to meet somewhere far away from home. Let us now see some interesting facts about Uruguay’s culture that make it stand apart from the other nations of the world.

  • Even though Uruguay is a small country, it is rich in arts, literature, and traditions.
  • Education is compulsory in Uruguay and is free from the pre-primary level until the university level.
  • Uruguay does not call any religion its official one. The dominant religion (almost 50%) is Christianity, followed by Agnostics (around 18%), and the rest of the population has people who are Jewish or follow African religions like Umbanda.
  • People in Uruguay absolutely love theater, and dance.
  • Though the roots may be European, the people have successfully embedded their own local flavor to them.
  • The gaucho attire, that is, cowboy attire is quite popular among men.
  • Women wear colorful dresses here.
  • Since it is a small country, simple things like owning a car, and being passionate about something as simple as football, are seen as a symbol of high social stature.
  • Sports like rugby, basketball, horse racing etc., are very popular here.
  • Uruguay’s flag has 9 blue and white stripes, with a sun on the top left corner. The 9 stripes represent the 9 regions into which Uruguay is politically divided into. The sun with its 16 wavy and straight rays, stand for Uruguay’s freedom. The colors and pattern are very similar to the flag of Argentina.
  • Most houses in Uruguay have names.
  • If you harm any dog that roams about, you can be criminally charged for it.
  • Buseca, a rich stew, is one of the most popular foods in Uruguay.
  • Also, an Italian influence, pasta, is served quite often with a sauce called Caruso Sauce, which has cream, mushrooms, onions, and meat in it.
  • One of the majorly popular drinks in Uruguay is a drink called mate. Other drinks are clerico (fresh fruit juice in white wine), medio y medio, tea, etc.
  • Jams, and empanadas (meat wrapped in bread) are the other typical food items in the cuisine of Uruguay.
  • A delicious meat sandwich, called chivito plato is the national dish of Uruguay.

Other Tidbits

Apart from the hard facts about this wonderful nation, there are some more things that you’re sure to find interesting. Here they are.

  • Uruguay ranks 33rd on the Global Peace Index as per the data for 2012. This is the lowest it has ever ranked, otherwise always being in the early 20 ranks.
  • In the year 2007, Reader’s Digest ranked Uruguay 9th in its list of the cleanest and greenest countries and cities in the world.
  • Homosexuality was decriminalized in the year 1964. Homosexuals are allowed to serve in the military, and the freedom of sexual orientation is protected by well-maintained anti-discrimination laws. Civil unions (same-sex or opposite sex) are legal in Uruguay.
  • People from all over the world visit Punta del Este, an upper class resort, along with their dogs. Many people leave their dogs behind while returning. This is the reason for the large number of stray dogs roaming around in the country.

28 Extremely Remarkable Facts About the Republic of Turkey


The Republic of Turkey is an incredible nation with a history that is rich and turbulent in equal measure. Buzzle brings you some incredible and interesting facts about Turkey.

Quick Facts at a Glance

Capital: Ankara

Languages Spoken: Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek

Major Religion: Islam

Currency: Turkish Lira

Population: 76,667,864 (2013 census)

The nation of Turkey bridges the continents of Asia and Europe. Although just a small part of Turkey is considered European, its biggest city, Istanbul is located right here. The country has been a deserving candidate for the title of ‘the world’s melting pot’―you’ll see shards of Greece in their cuisine, a hint of India in their language, a touch of Persia in their designs, all of which amalgamate into a gorgeous fusion that is Turkish culture.
Listing facts about a nation as historically significant as Turkey can indeed go on forever. Therefore, we’re giving you a basic insight into the most interesting aspects pertaining to their history, culture, and lifestyle.
Geography and History
The nation of Turkey resembles a transcontinental bridge; the one that connects Asia and Europe. 97% of the landmass made up mostly of Anatolia is Asian, with the Bosphorus River separating it from the European Balkans.
The country is roughly rectangular in shape, bordered by eight nations―Greece to the west; Iran, Azerbaijan, and Armenia to the east; Iraq and Syria to the south; Georgia to the northeast; and Bulgaria to the northwest.
The Mediterranean Sea lies in the south, with the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea towards the west and the north, respectively.
Map of Turkey
Map of the Republic of Turkey
Human inhabitation in Turkey goes back to the Paleolithic age, which included the Ionian Greeks, Thracians, and the Anatolians.
Alexander the Great’s conquest left a distinct Greek impression on the country’s culture. This was followed by centuries of Roman rule, and finally, the transformation into the Byzantine Empire.
The Ottomans rulers created a massive empire in the region since the 13th century. The Ottomans sided the Central Powers during WWI―a time which also witnessed major atrocities being committed by the Turks against Armenians (the infamous Armenian Genocide), Assyrians, and Greeks.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rose to prominence during the decade following WWI. He led the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1922) which resulted in the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923.
Atatürk became the first president of the Republic of Turkey―his name, bestowed by the citizens translates to “Father of the Turks”. His leadership brought about a sea change in the political, economic, and cultural landscape of the nation.
Portrait of Ataturk on Turkish Lira
Portrait of Atatürk on Turkish Lira
He is commemorated by several memorials throughout Turkey, including the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, the Atatürk Bridge over the Golden Horn (Haliç), and the Atatürk Dam. His portrait can be seen in all public buildings, educational institutions, on the local currency, and even in the homes of many Turkish families.
Historical Landmarks
The site of the Trojan Wars―the ancient city of Troy is located in West Turkey. It is regarded as the most famous archaeological site in the world, being associated with literary works of Homer (The Iliad) and Virgil (The Aeneid).
Several scientists and scholars harbor the belief that the landing place of Noah’s ark is situated in present-day Turkey. It is determined that the specific location of the ark’s landing is in the Mountains of Ararat.
St Peters church in Antakya
St. Peter’s Church in Antakya
It is believed that the first Christian church was built in Turkey. The structure is located in Antakya, and is known as Saint Peter’s Church.
The Virgin Mary was known to have spent her last days in Ephesus, western Turkey. Ephesus is also home to the Basilica of St. John, understood to be the burial site of John the Apostle.
Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut, located in southwestern Turkey is another oft-visited archaeological site, home to the mausoleum of Antiochus I (69-34 B.C.). It is considered to be a landmark construction of the Hellenistic period. Found here is a rather unique pantheon, depicting the assimilation of Zeus with Oromasdes (the Iranian god Ahuramazda), and Heracles with Artagnes (the Iranian god Verathragna)―a fine confluence of Greek, Persian, and Anatolian aesthetics.
Urban Turkey
Many mistakenly assume Istanbul to be the capital of the Republic of Turkey. The actual honor goes to Ankara, which has been the seat of the Turkish government ever since the Turkish War of Independence (1923). The Anatolian city is a bustling metropolis with historical sites, shopping arenas, along with some rather colorful nightlife.
Ankara skyline
Ankara’s skyline
With all the talk revolving around urban Turkey, Istanbul can’t remain out of the picture for too long. Constantinople, as it was once known as, was named after the Roman emperor, Constantine. As Rome began to fall, he chose to shift the base of power to Istanbul.
A trip to the Republic of Turkey is never complete without a visit to Istanbul. This is one of the oldest cities in the world, and its inherent charm is sure to leave you mesmerized long after you’ve left.
Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Istanbul’s highlights include the Galata Bridge, Maiden’s Tower, the museums at Topkapi Palace and Aya Sofya, and the beautiful Blue Mosque known for its six minarets.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is an experience of a lifetime. Hailed as one of the oldest markets in the world, this massive shopping complex is estimated to have approximately 64 streets and 4000 shops, with 25,000 people working here.
Turkish Nom Noms
The ‘melting pot’ aspect we mentioned before is clearly evident in Turkish cuisine. The universally-loved baklava (layered filo dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios, cinnamon, and sugar, covered in honey syrup) is a decadent indulgence, but you’ve got to try the lokum, also known as Turkish Delight. This delightful dessert comes in the form of a flavored gelatinous cubes dusted with powdered sugar or desiccated coconut.
Lokum or Turkish Delight
Lokum or Turkish Delight
Turkish main course dishes mostly center around meat, cooked in an infusion of local spices. Popular grub includes doner kebabs, hünkar beğendi (lamb stew with eggplant curry), and yes, lots of yogurt-based soups and gravies.
Turkish tea
Turkish tea served in a tulip-shaped glass
The Turkish may have single-handedly popularized coffee in Europe, but they are also a nation of dedicated tea drinkers. Turkish tea is locally produced (unlike coffee), and is consumed without milk. It is served in those delightful tulip-shaped glasses, accompanied with lots of sugar cubes.
Random Facts About Turkey
Aesop, Homer, and St. Paul the Apostle were born in Turkey, along with St. Nicholas, known to many as Santa Claus.
Think tulips, and what springs to mind is the Keukenhof Garden in Holland. However, Turkish traders introduced these beautiful flowers to Europe in the 16th century.
Turkish Van
Turkish Van cat
All Turkish cities and towns are awash in cats. Turkey’s love affair with felines is in line with Islamic lore which mentions the Prophet’s affinity towards cats. The Turkish Angora and Turkish Van are cat breeds which originated in the region.
The famed Orient Express was a luxury passenger train on the Paris-Istanbul route. The express was instrumental in pioneering rail travel, coupled with unmatched opulence. Agatha Christie even based a Hercule Poirot novel on the journey―Murder on the Orient Express.
The Republic of Turkey has a little something for every kind of traveler―be it history, food, adventure sports, archeology, shopping, and even the nightlife. So what are you waiting for? Plan a trip, and plan it NOW.