There is probably no other word sweeter than ‘vacation’ for employees and none so distasteful than this word for the employers. Regardless of who is who, everyone needs a vacation to break away from something that yields pleasure only when broken, monotony. Vacations have such a healing power that, at times, couples with troubled relationships leave for vacations separately in order to reunite. There is nothing new under the sun, but there is always something new for individuals to explore because no one has seen all that is under the sun. There is no 25th hour in a day for anyone no matter how busy or important someone might be. Even the presidents are no exemption. Employees can afford the luxury of leaving behind their work during vacations, whereas the top people can ill afford it. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan said, ‘Presidents don’t get vacations – they just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you.’ A change of scenery is, in fact, the best way to overcome monotony.
1. Rome, Italy
Rome with its rich history of more than 2,500 years is an excellent vacation destination. The World Tourism Organization ranked it as the fifth tourism earner in the world. It is a city of great historical sites and artistic attractions which include: St. Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza della Repubblica, Castle St. Angelo, the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Colosseum. St. Peter’s Basilica is located in Vatican City near the residence of the Pope and is one of the most important places for Christian pilgrimages because St. Peter set up the first Christian church here. The Colosseum is the famous icon of Rome and one of the biggest amphitheaters in the world. Via dei Candiotti is Rome’s main shopping street and contains many high-fashion boutiques including: Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, Zara, Prada, Dior, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, and many others.
2. Paris, France
Paris, located on the bank of the Seine River, is the capital of France. Paris and its suburban areas are considered the most attractive destinations for tourists. They contain four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The famous Parisian tourist attractions include: the iconic Eiffel Tower; the Louvre, an extensive art gallery; Notre Dame de Paris, and replicas of the Statue of Liberty. Musee d’Orsay is a museum housed in a rail station and known for a large collection of the impressionist paintings. The Ile de la Cite is a natural island in the River Seine within the city of Paris. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Ãƒ’°toile is a famous monument in the center of Paris.
3. London, England
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island. There are four World Heritage Sites in England which are: Tower of London, Palace of Westminster, Kew Gardens, and the Greenwich Settlement. Other famous attractions in London include: Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, London Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the Shard, and many great museums like the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, and the British Library. The London Underground is the first railway network in the world. London is the spirit of culture and an embodiment of tradition.
4. Bangkok, Thailand
Occupying over 1,565 square kilometers in area is the Chao Phiraya River delta. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. It is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world. In Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkok ranks # 3, next only to London and Paris. Travel + Leisure magazine ranked it as the World’s Best City. Not excluding the others, a few of the tourist attractions in Bangkok include: the iconic Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, the Siam Niramit Show, Trimitr Wat, Wat Po, and Bejabophit temples, Scenic River Kwai, the beautiful butterfly garden and insectariums. Baiyoke Tower II is the tallest building in Bangkok and the Sukhumvit area viewed from it appears like a sea of high-rise buildings.
5. Bern, Switzerland
Bern is the federal city of the Swiss Confederation. Switzerland is a small but one of the wealthiest countries in the world located in Western Europe. It is known for its scenic beauty, its glaciers, watches, dairy products, particularly the Swiss and Emmental cheeses. The Swiss are also known as the best producers and greatest consumers of the finest chocolates. The Bern City Center, comprised of the Medieval structures, is on UNESCO’s list as a Cultural World Heritage Site. Bern attractions include: Zytgolgge, an ancient clock with puppets; Munster, a Gothic cathedral; BÃƒ¤rengraben, the bear pit; Bundeshaus, the Federal Palace; Einsteinhaus, the residence of Albert Einstein, and Rosengarten, a unique rose garden.
6. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Spread over an area of 19,485 square kilometers, the Kruger National Park is located in the Limpomo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa. The park is designated by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, as an international biosphere reserve. The park is one of the largest African game reserves and is accessible through its nine gates and extends a unique opportunity to view the animals in their natural habitat. The park is a habitat for more than 145 species of mammals including big cats, baboons, wildebeests, wild dogs, zebras, and many others. It is also home to 110 species of reptiles, 33 species of amphibians, and 335 species of trees.
7. Fraser Island, Australia
Fraser Island, with an area of 1,840 square kilometers, is the largest sand island in the world. It is located near the southern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is home to the wild dogs called dingos. Fraser Island was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1992. The island has rain forests, eucalyptus woodlands, and mangrove forests. It has been inhabited by human beings for more than 5,000 years, and it is interesting to note that in the 2006 census its resident human population was 360. It is a popular tourism destination in Australia.
8. Heidelberg Castle, Germany
Heidelberg is a densely populated city in southwest Germany. It is best known for the ruins of Heidelberg Castle and the Heidelberg University of international fame. Construction of the castle began in 1214. In 1537 a lightening bolt destroyed its upper portion, which was rebuilt. However, another lightening bolt struck it in 1764 and destroyed it again. The remains of the castle speak of the grandeur of the original construction. Other attractions of Heidelberg include: Museum of the Electoral Palatinate of Heidelberg, Philosophenweg, or philosophers walk, Knight’s House, Old Bridge, Jesuits’ Church, and many other places.
9. New York, USA
New York is the third most-populated state of the USA. It is bordered by Quebec to the north, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east, and the Canadian province of Ontario to the north. New York is one of the most famous cities of the World. The attractions of New York include: the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Flushing Meadows”œCorona Park, Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade, Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society, Central Park, Coney Island Cyclone, Grand Central Terminal, and the High Line.
10. Giza, Egypt
Giza is the third largest city of Egypt and is located on the west bank of the Nile River at about 20 kilometers from Cairo. Giza is considered the World’s largest suburban city next only to Yokohama, Japan. Giza is famous for the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Giza, and many other ancient pyramids and temples. Originally known as Khufu’s Horizon, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in 2560-2540 BC. Its base is 230.4 meters and height is 138.8 meters. It is the oldest of the former Seven Wonders of the World. Giza is one of the most visited places in Egypt.
There is nothing permanent in this world except ‘change.’ Vacations extend an opportunity to experience the taste of this permanence. It would be perhaps an interesting experience for an Eskimo to go on vacation in an Arabian desert and for a Bedouin to spend some time in an igloo. It may sound a bit weird, but it is quite practicable in these modern times. In UAE, for example, someone from Norway can safely enjoy a desert safari.