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Cinque Terre

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ITALIAN RIVIERA Simply enchanting! A sight that provokes a longing to return again and again. As our train passed through a series of tunnels after La Spezia and was about to enter Riomaggiore station, the openings in the tunnel walls provided a fleeting view of the precipice leading almost vertically down to a spectacular expanse of blue Mediterranean.Crystal blue, totally different from colours of seas I have seen so far. So distinct that this shade of blue has come to be known as Mediterranean Blue . Riomaggiore is one of the five villages on the rugged portion of Italian Riviera. The other four villages are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola. All these five villages and the surrounding hillsides dot the Riviera and belong to Cinque Terre (meaning ‘five lands’) National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Since almost thousand years from now, residents of these villages carved terraces on the rugged and steep rocky lands right upto the cliffs. These heavil

Bridge on the River Kwai - Revisited

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River Kwai I first saw Bridge on the River Kwai when I was just a   school boy in Lucknow.I remember seeing the Academy Award winning movie at  Mayfair theater on Hazratgunj . The film was superb in all respect. Legendary   Director David Lean with great casts like Al ec Guinness, William Holden,  Jack Hawkins – shot in entirety in Sri Lanka; superb real life photography and based  on a true story on construction of a Bridge by POWs(prisoners of war) of the Allied force, held in  cramped swampy rain forest camps set up by the Japanese army during World War  II. The bridge was the most infamous section of about 250 miles Siam railroad  track from Bang Pong in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma, and was built to  support the Japanese Imperial Army’s forces in Burma (now Myanmar). The film  shows the travails of POWs engaged in construction of the Bridge in 1942– 43.There were many deaths in these camps during construction period owing to  the squalid conditions the POWs were fo

Phnom Penh - from Killing Fields to a Humane City

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Phnom Penh-a great Cambodian City http://www.visitorsdetails.com Time began with the Big Bang about 13.77 billion years ago. Our universe originated and began expanding from Day One which included the formation of our planet Earth. But not so long ago, on 17th April 1975, a Cambodian school teacher Pol Pot (who had been to Paris on scholarship to study Radio Electronics and returned to Cambodia to take up a teaching assignment) declared Year Zero in Cambodia. That was in line with the concept of Year One declared during the French Revolution. The idea was to discard and destroy all culture and traditions within the society and bring in revolutionary culture. President Lon Nol fled Cambodia on 1st April 1975 following a bloody civil war that lasted for five years. And on 17th April 1975, a swarm of locusts in the guise of Khmer Rouge descended on Phnom Penh to devour teachers, artists, and intelligentsia of the Cambodian capital. Pol Pot’s intention was to eliminate threats to his id