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Rio de Janeiro  


Rio de Janeiro is one of the most spectacular cities on the planet. Even the well-traveled individuals will love what the city has to offer. One of the best ways to appreciate the setting is by going up Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar), where you'll get a fantastic 360 degree view of Rio and Guanabara Bay.

Across the Bay, you will see the Rio-Niteroi bridge (13,9 km long). Cariocas (Rio natives) disagree on which point gives the most wonderful view: Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf) or Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), elected one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World". It is well worth experiencing both and deciding afterwards which view is better. Notice how the natural harbour is surrounded by lush, high mountains that meet the sea in the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.

Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain gives an even higher perspective, and is the most well known and recognized landmark of Rio. You can take a tram up to the statue—the best view is on the right-hand side.



Cairo is the capital of Egypt, and with a total population in excess of 16 million people, one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle East (which regions it conveniently straddles) - it is also the 13th largest city in the world. Situated on the River Nile, Cairo is famous for its own history - preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and in Old Cairo - and for the ancient, Pharaonic history of the country it represents.

No trip to Cairo would be complete, for example, without a visit to the Giza Pyramids, to nearby Saqqara, or to the Egyptian Museum in the center of town. Though firmly attached to the past, Cairo is also home to a vibrant modern society.

As you fly into to Cairo, Egypt you will be left speechless as you look out the window and see the contrast of the setting. Out of one side of the plane, you will see the vast arid desert which seems to be never ending; out of the other side is a busy city which looks like a modern day oasis. Travelers from all over the world have been marveling at Egypt 's wondrous antiquities for thousands of years. Although these antiquities still exist today, a visit to Cairo , Egypt is more than an immersion into the past, as it also encompasses many modern day amenities which anyone will be sure to enjoy.

Just walking around downtown and in the older residential parts inside the wall of the city where craftsmen work on the sidewalks outside their homes is also a real pleasure. It is easy to meet real Cairenes that are eager to discuss anything with you. Some of them try to lure you into their carpet shops; others are really interested and interesting to talk with.



The Netherlands is a small parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy in the west of Europe, between the North Sea, Belgium and Germany, and is known for much more than cheese, windmills, wooden shoes and tulips.

Its recorded history starts with the Roman invasion halfway through the first century A.D. but it had its heyday in the 17th century when it disputed hegemony of the Seven Seas with the English and the Spanish empires. In that period New York, parts of India, a series of forts along the African Coast and the Colonies in Indonesia formed part of the vast Dutch Empire.

Though most historic town centers in the Netherlands date back to the Dark Ages, most building was done in the era of oversea expansion and in the nineteenth century when the industrial revolution started. In Amsterdam, Leiden or Utrecht you can see the big 17th century mansions once owned by the commanders of the Dutch fleet and those of the rich merchants who financed the wars with their overseas gains.



Amsterdam is one of the coolest cities in Europe. Beautiful, hip, and laid back, with lots to do, lots to see, many pubs, food from all over the world and friendly people. A visit to this very beautiful city is sometimes like taking a walk in the 17th century, as the center of Amsterdam has a lot of charming architecture dating from this period.

This is an excellent city to tour on foot or bicycle. However, while Amsterdam may boast a lot of 17th century architecture, that's about all that's old fashioned about the place.

In summer one of the best places to go for a relaxing afternoon is the Vondelpark. It is a great park, right in the center of things and very lively. With a bit of luck you can catch a (free) outdoor concert near the water. There are also a few trendy places in the park where you can sit and have a beer, such as the Blauwe Theehuis.

If you like to watch people strolling by, a perfect place is Leidseplein. Leidseplein(=square) is bustling with activity and terraces in summertime. Another nice square is Rembrandtplein - nice cafe's and again terraces If you like spare ribs - visit De Klos just off the Leidsestraat. Beer is everywhere and it is all good.

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