Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Second Highest Point in Paris

The Sacre Coeur Basilica

The Sacre Coeur Basilica, or known as the full name of Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmarte is noticeable from nearly everywhere in Paris, standing on top of a hill within the Montmartre area which is 129 meters above sea level.

Montmartre, which translated means hill of martyres, which in turn leads back to the martyrdom of Saint Denis, who happened to the first bishop of Paris all the way back in the 3rd century has since then had many saints visit this hill, including that of Saint Germain and Joan of Arc.

No matter which way you are entering Paris, whether it be by road on the Peripherique ring road around Paris, one of the train stations including via the Eurostar, or even a flight this monument is one of the few you will be able to see almost instantly.

One reason for that is that the monument stands at the second highest point within Paris, the only other being the most well known tourist attraction in Paris, the Eiffel tower which holds the highest point in the city.

The monument can also be spotted form various other tourist attractions, including that of the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pompidou Center and much more while on holiday in Paris, but thanks to the impressive height the Sacre Coeur Basilica is at, when you go to visit it you can enjoy a great view over Paris.

However if you want even more of a fantastic view you can venture to the top of the Sacre Coeur Basilica and visit the dome which is 200m above sea level, which on a clear day can let you see the panorama as far as 50km away.

The Sacre Coeur Basilica is not just a monument in the city, but also a renowned place of worship, with people taking pilgrimages to visit this place of worship and masses being help daily.

Numerous people every day go to the Sacre Coeur Basilica to pray, for both the prayer of adoration and the prayer to the Sacred Heart, or you can take part in a confession and in addition to all those you can also share your prayer intentions or ask for a candle to be lit for you.

But with the monument so high up, getting there can be a trip in itself, but fear not as there are numerous different ways to gain access to the basilica.

First you can arrive by bus lines 30, 31, 80 and 85, the nearest stop being at the base of the hill, and from there it takes an extra twenty minutes to reach the top after traveling up many steps.

If you prefer a train you can arrive on the Metro at the Jules Joffrin Metro station and from there take a bus to the top of the mountain, or for the more fit walk.

If you want a more direct route you can choose the Montmartrobus that runs from Place Pigalle to the top of the hill and by Place du Tertre before heading down the other side to Place Jules Jofferin and back and these smaller buses run roughly ever fifteen to thirty minutes.

And in addition to the previous ways there is also a funicular (a cable car) which is the same price as a Metro ticket. Unfortunately it does not start at the very bottom and neither finishes to the very top so some step negotiating is still required if you choose this option. And even though there can be a queue during the height of season it can quickly go down as it runs every few minutes.

The Sacre Coeur Basilica is open daily from as early at 6am and to 10:30 pm, the last possible visits being thirty minutes before closure.

Yet if you want to enjoy a fantastic view and climb up to the Dome you can only do this from 9am to 6pm in winter and 7pm in summer. On top of that you can also visit the crypt, but the times for that are more variable and thus it is always an idea to check first before going.

In addition to that you can also attend Mass, which on a weekday are conducted at 11:15 am, 6:30 pm, and 10pm. On a Friday there is an additional Mass with a time of adoration or Eucharistic procession. And on a Sunday there is a Solemn Mass at 11am, 6pm and at 10pm.

Confessions are held daily between 10am and midday, between 2:30 pm and 6pm and finally at 8:30 pm and 10pm.

Finally on top of the services and view there are also special events that take place during holy weeks, such as the week of Easter, Christmas and more along with a shop and religious book shop which opens daily from 9:30 am and 5:30 pm which you can look around and buy from.

So if you want to visit the Sacre Coeur Basilica for the services, the view or just for an experience, you are not going to be disappointed when you go on holiday in Paris.

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Selecting the Right Sportswear And More

Sports uniforms are not all about spark and glamor. Today, if you can’t take your eyes off your favorite athletes running around in their stylish jerseys – know for a fact that much of their «on-field style or charishma» stems from the jerseys adorning them as well. An uncomfortable uniform ends up affecting on-field mobility and performance as well. There is no room for «style» under such circumstances. Selecting sports uniforms for respective teams remains a matter of sagacity. A lot of thought goes into selecting the right one. Today, we will just discuss the same. Read on to discover.

Tips to select the right sports jerseys: Points that are infallible to the whole selection process

What are the factors that necessarily need to be kept in view while you’re selecting sportswear? A casual perusal of the post will help you fathom.

Comfort

Yes. At the heart of ideal sportswear is comfort. We have already mentioned how the lack of comfort can actually go on to affect performance. Different sports demand different cuts, fit and styles. What works for tennis essentially does not work for basketball. In fact, sleeveless upper halves are mandatory for basketball players since they have to jump and net the ball. The modern jerseys are backed by sweat absorbent properties. Players are exposed to increasingly humid conditions today and these jerseys, as such, have only gone on to assume a more significant shape with the passage of time.

Style

Our modern sporting heroes, irrespective of which particular sport they are into, are very conscious about etching out their distinctive style statement. Jersey designers keep this point in view while crafting really stylish jerseys for their clients. We understand how important it is to reach out for team consensus when it comes to zeroing in on the design and hue. Now, let us clarify from the very beginning that the different colors sported by different teams are not really a result of random selection but definitely of a lot of thought.

Each team is governed by different sensibilities much of which is highlighted by the uniform sported by them at the first place.

Cost

You need to ensure that you’re securing a clear idea about the cost of the product before accessing the same. The uniforms are customized as per team specifications. Make sure you are looking up the price tags online and finding out about discounts on bulk order, if any. You can compare the prices online as well.

The Manufacturer

The internet offers you so much information about the manufacturers out there. Please make sure you’re selecting a range only after carrying out a thorough background research of the stores at the first place:

For how long have they been offering sportswear?

Are they known for providing quality clothes within market competitive price brackets?

What are the reviews saying about them?

Have you reached out for personal recommendations as well?

Do consider these factors before taking a pick… and you are sorted!

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Hot Soccer Mom

It's always exciting to watch live football games and be treated to breathtaking moves as well as hot soccer mom. Everyone loves the contact sport. Children, teenagers, and adults are hooked to world class football. Even gender is not an issue when it comes to soccer as men and women crave for the sport. Women in particular are fascinated by the athletic looking individuals playing on the field and bringing out all the skills they have. Let's face it, these handsome players most of the time win the affection and attraction of the beautiful and charming girls. But the story does not end there.

Pretty and amiable mothers also love to watch thrilling matches. Most of the time, they go out with their little kids. At times they get so focused on the game and their kids that they do not notice the male fans staring at them. These mothers who hunger for soccer are hot items in the venue as they usually wear sexy and tight clothes. It's always a satisfying thing to see beautiful and attractive mothers during a soccer game.

The World Cup as well as the major football leagues throughout the world takes pride in its festive atmosphere and huge audience attendance. It is interesting to note that through the years the attendance of women in a match has considerably increased. This can be mainly attributed to the fact that women's football is already getting more popular than in the past years thus their interest in the sport has increased much. As a consequence, even young girls are already drawn to the game. They conquer the various game venues with their hot soccer mom.

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Understanding the Unfortunate Situation of the Al-Fida'I (Palestine National Team)

"Does Palestine have a football team?" That got me excited to the point where I ended up buying a round of second tobacco fill-ups for the group. The simple answer to that question was a "Yes". But me being me, wanted to explain to them the little that I knew of the sport in Palestine.

Football had been present in Palestine since the 1920's, the earliest of all when you compare the time when the sport was introduced into the region. In fact, the country had provided excellent footballers at the time, that were even recognized at a global stage. One of them was Jabra Al Zarqa who, based on his performance, attracted the likes of Arsenal FC. That was 1920's.

Where is the country now in terms of football? Fifa ranks Palestine at 157 in the latest world ranking release. Is it justified to an average individual that concentrates on stats and numbers? Yes, it does.

But if you go beyond the numbers and look at how a dominating country in Arab football just turned lame ducks, it is quite pitiful and inspiring at the same time (from a football perspective).

Fifa acknowledged Palestine in 1998. Since then, it had participated in several friendly and competitive matches with teams mainly from the Levant region (Syria, Jordan & Lebanon) or Far East nations. Their first game on home was played in 2008 against Jordan. A decision later since it was acknowledged with the reason being the unpredictable security concerns that exist and still exists in the country.

The most successful Palestinian national team coach was an Arab Israeli by the name of Azmi Nasser who twice took the responsibility of managing the team, once during 1999 – 2000 and then 2005 – 2007 (year he passed away). During his tenure of 21 games in those 5 years, he had managed to pull out 8 victories.

The disappointing and an important feature among a lot, is the background of how most of their matches were operated on. As the team is made up of players from both Gaza and the West Bank area, the travel restrictions infused by Israel on people traveling between the two regions, does not make it possible for these players to train together. They have to meet up in any neighboring countries to train together.

Secondly, there have been cases of where individuals from both regions are not granted permission to exit, which then puts the causes problems in the preparations. One such incident that I can distinctly remember is during the qualifying stages of the 2006 WC, the first team goal keeper who would travel to Egypt – Palestine border on a daily basis to cross over to Egypt in order to join up with the team. And when he was able to get through, he was physically and mentally tired to perform. This leads to bringing in players of Palestinian ancestry to the team causing communication tissues with the local Palestinian players.

They do deserve a lot of praise on pursuing their passion for the sport, even if they have to go through certain difficulties. The team had recently qualified for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup hosted by Nepal, where the winner qualifies into the 2015 AFC Cup.

As Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestinian football federation, said after the first game on home soil:

"Palestinian blood, Palestinian flesh, the Palestinian national anthem on Palestinian territory.

I am pretty sure I can say for all of us that we the football fans all across the world are proud of what you have achieved and the awaiting success.

PS: I would recommend all of you to watch Goal of Dreams , which is a documentary of the Palestinian national teams, struggle as they aim to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. A must watch.

Look forward to my follow up post on why I expect the Palestinian national team to be notified in the future in the regional and global stage.

Sports Jewelry is Always a Winner

The thrill of victory is often accompanied by receiving a piece of commemorative jewelry. From the World Series of Baseball to the Super Bowl of the National Football League, sports jewelry is coveted and very collectible. Rings and other jewelry awarded to professional athletes are rare commodities. Possessing a Super Bowl ring identifies the player as a member of a small fraternity of football athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their career.

The tradition of awarding rings to winning baseball teams really has its start in nineteen twenty two. By nineteen thirty one, all major league players who were members of a winning World Series team have received a ring. The tradition has continued ever since and the custom has spread include the professional sports of football and basketball.

The belt of a world champion boxer is a very item. Often adorned by gemstones and precious metals like gold and silver, very few of these prizes are available, even to collectors. The gems and gold may not have much value in and of themselves. Assembled into the belt of a champion and the value grows significantly.

Championship rings are often very audacious and quite large in size, certainly a reflection of the effort required to attain one. Again, the gemstones and precious metals used to make these rings have a value. The design and artisanship that goes into these one of a kind jewelry pieces makes them valuable far beyond the gems and metal.

Throughout sports history, no award is more coveted than an Olympic Medal. Medals of gold, silver and bronze are awarded to Olympians whose performance exceeded that of their peers. The modern gold medal is made from solid silver and plated with a quarter ounce of pure gold. Notable gold medal winners from the modern day Olympic Games include Muhammad Ali, Shaquille ONeal, Sheryl Swopes and former United States Senator Bill Bradley.

The awarding of trophies and cups has been a tradition is all manner of sporting competitions has as storied past. Sterling silver and silver plate was often used. The design of the cup or trophy was unique to the sport or to the specific competition. Modern cup trophies that many people are familiar with include the winners trophy at the Indianapolis 500 motor race and the Stanley Cup. The Cup is awarded to the championship team from the National Hockey League. The Indy 500 trophy is adorned with facial figures of the winning drivers and, like The Cup, is completely unique.

Collectors of sports memorabilia place a very high value on sports jewelry. A genuine World Series Championship ring can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. The value placed on these one of a kind items of sports jewelry is greatly influenced by who owned the ring. It is rumored that slugger Jose Canseco sold one of his World Series rings for forty thousand dollars.

The popularity of high stakes poker has spurred interest in a new type of sports jewelry award. The World Series of Poker bracelet is fast becoming the next big thing in collectable jewelry. Now few people would consider poker a sport, but well known players have legions of fans that closely follow professional poker.

Sports fans can find an almost endless variety of sports jewelry dedicated to their favorite team or athlete. Everything from rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces and more are available. As with the purchase of any type of jewelry, the buyer needs to be sure of the items value. There is a veritable world of fakes and knockoffs that can sometimes fool even the well informed buyer.

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Predicting the World Cup 2010 Winner

What does predicting the economy got to do with predicting the World Cup winner? A lot if you listen to Swiss Bank UBS.

In the World Cup 2006, the economists and analysts at the Wealth Management Research at UBS used the statistical model that enabled them to predict market trends and investment decisions and applied it to predict the World Cup winner.

They correctly predicted that Italy would be the champion. They also succeeded in getting six of the eight quarter-finalists correct. Their track record also included correctly forecasting three of the four semi-finalists.

UBS’s model is a purely quantitative analysis and the criteria used are past performance, home advantage and teams’ strength. Now let’s discuss the model:

For past performance, so far seven nations have won the championship. (Brazil five times, Italy four times, Germany three times, Argentina and Uruguay two times, France and England one time each). So according to UBS, if you pick one of these seven teams, it appears to be a safe bet.

As for the home advantage, a third of the past world cups was won by the host country. Now:

# The weather is mild winter in South Africa and it appears that the host nation may not have the climate advantage. This applies similarly to the African nations in the finals.

# Some matches will be played at venues at high altitude. This is a clear advantage to the host and the South American teams like Brazil.

# In every tournament, there is speculation of referees favoring the Home team. Will there be many controversial calls helping the host?

# This being Africa’s World Cup, there are many who wonder if an African nation will advance past the group stage into the quarter-finals for the first time. In every tournament, there will always be a team which will be the surprise package. Will this team come from Africa?

# And lastly, there is this «outside-of-Europe» syndrome. So far every World Cup had been won by either an European team or a South American side. No European team has won outside the comfort of their own continent. Now in South Africa, many pundits believe that the South American teams will have so-called ground advantage.

Regarding the strength of the teams, UBS took into consideration the FIFA ranking and the bookmakers’ odds.

So which team has UBS picked to be WC 2010 champion? Brazil.

Well, your guess is as good as mine on which team will win. My trusted crystal ball tells me it is Spain.

In every World Cup, betting wise, it is a true challenge. The tournament is held every four years and qualification ends months before the ball is kicked in the first game of the finals. During this time, a lot can change in the football world.

World Cup means patriotic fervor comes into play. We all have passionate feelings for a certain team or a certain player which will determine our decision.

There are 32 teams in the finals so technically there are 32 potential winners. It is interesting to note some characteristics of these teams:

* Some teams have a good striking department with tons of firepower, but lacking everywhere else.

* Some teams have great talented players but have insane coaches.

* Some are perceived as perennial underachievers like Spain and England who seem to choke on the big stage.

* Some are tournament teams like Germany and Italy who may be underrated before the finals, but know how to grind out the results. Well this is according to past performances.

* Experts have expected Spain to win the last two World Cups – but they never have.

* England are going to win it every time according to the English – but they never do.

And there are some interesting statistics:

# No team has successfully defended the WC for a long while. Would the 2006 winner Italy be the exception? But Italy has an aging squad and may not be expected to last all the way. It is easier to reach the top, but much harder to stay there!

# Only once in the last 21 group games has the WC host lost, so would South Africa be the surprise package?

Why Spain will Win

With one loss in their last 46 matches, Spain arrived at South Africa as one of the best teams. They are the favorites to lift the World Cup on July 11. They are ahead of Brazil in the eyes of the bookmakers and pundits.

Spain (Rank 1) play in Group H against Chile (Rank 17), Switzerland (Rank 18) and Honduras (Rank 38).

They have been dubbed by the media in the past as «perennial underachiever». But the faith of their fans may be justified this time as they have completely turned the corner after winning Euro 2008. They had built on this success and thereafter had won all of their qualifying games for WC 2010, the first team to achieve such a record.

The Talents

Spain is a team with polished gems. They boast the talents of Fernando Torres and David Villa up front, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas in the middle, Carles Puyol and Gerrard Pique at the back, and Iker Casillas in goal. The reigning European champion look a formidable bunch.

They are stacked with players from the elite leagues in Europe like Barcelona and Real Madrid. The squad has so much depth that even the impressive Arsenal captain Fabregas, whom many consider as one of the best midfielders around, has to warm the bench as a substitute.

A well balanced team is needed to have the consistency to get through such a high level tournament. Look at Argentina. The hope of the entire nation rests on the shoulders of young Messi. But Messi does not perform for his country like he does for Barcelona because he does not have the midfield marshals like Xavi and Iniesta behind him to pull the strings. And I shall leave the Argentina manager alone.

The Spanish squad has been largely unchanged from the team that won Euro 2008. Playing together for years can only foster better understanding on the pitch. The Spain of today exude calm and confidence. Wearing the European crown does such things to you.

Injury

Of course injury is a concern but this is the same for every team. Torres and Fabregas missed playing the tail end of the league due to injuries. To look on the bright side, this could actually be a blessing in disguise as they are totally rested for the World Cup.

Spain has a deep squad with comparatively able replacements. They are not a one or two men team like Ivory Coast relying on Drogba.

If injuries are inflicted on play-makers, any team will suffer like Rooney for England, Lucio and Kaka for Brazil, Messi for Argentina, Sneijder for Holland, etc. Serious injuries are a disaster for every team.

Pressure

Being ranked No. 1 and as hot favorites, expectations are high. Will Spain crack under the pressure?

Much was made out of their 2-0 defeat in the Confederations Cup semi-final to USA last June. This ended their 35 match streak without a loss. Some said Spain buckled under the pressure in that match because they wanted so much to break Brazil’s 35 match streak of not suffering a loss. To many this is considered a great weakness to cave in to pressure.

A lot of teams lose matches that they should win. Most important is to learn a lesson from the loss. I believe the Spanish had indeed learned a valuable lesson. From then on, they had not lost again.

Mental Strength

Psychologists often stress that half of the battle is won in the head. Unfortunately, Spain have the unwanted tag of perennial choker on the big stage. In the past when the going gets tough, they have gone missing.

But now all the players pledged that they know their biggest enemy is themselves and they have developed greater self belief.

Complacency

There is a great threat of complacency when facing the likes of Honduras, Chile and Switzerland. I am confident that with an experienced coach in del Bosque, the players will know in no uncertain terms that a place in the second round is not a formality.

Assurance and over-confidence is divided by a very fine line. The last thing they will think is they have already won the match even before the ball is kicked.

How To Beat Spain

Some said the way to beat Spain is to follow the tactics of Jose Mourinho whose Inter Milan succeeded where virtually everybody failed by knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League. The tactic is to have the players defend deep in their own half, soaking up the pressure thrown at them and rely on swift counter-attack to score. Well, I am not sure whether there could be another «Special One’ around.

Conclusion

If Spain keep their heads they will win World Cup 2010. If they don’t, they are simply beaten by themselves.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Is the Most Expensive Footballer in the History of the Game

Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional footballer who is currently playing for the La Liga club, Real Madrid. He is the captain of the national team of Portugal and he holds the record of being the most expensive footballer in the history of the game.

He was born on the 5th of February, 1985, and started his football career with Andorinha. He moved to Nacional before joining the prestigious Sporting Lisbon. In a match where Sporting Lisbon played against Manchester United, the talent of Cristiano Ronaldo impressed the senior players of Manchester United and they urged their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the youngster.

Manchester United signed the 18 year old Cristiano Ronaldo in the year 2003. Cristiano Ronaldo was exceptionally talented in the ball dribbling department and left the defender dumbfounded with his tricks. The moves that he spent on the pitch to leave the defenders dumbfounded became a sensation with the fans and various video compilations of his moves were uploaded on the internet to announce to the world this exceptional talent. However, experts criticized Cristiano Ronaldo for the fact that he spent excessive time on the ball and this decreased his effectiveness as a player. It was a right concern and Sir Alex Ferguson helped Cristiano Ronaldo to use his dribbling skills to adopt a more productive style of football and thus, created the player that Cristiano Ronaldo is today. He regards Sir Alex Ferguson as his «father» in the game of football.

The first trophy that Ronaldo won with the club was of the FA Cup and thus, started the triumphs of the young player which kept on accumulating as Ronaldo worked hard to improve on and on as a player. He became the first player in the history of the game to win all the major awards of PFA and FWA in 2007. He has been compared to the great legends of their times and has even been cited as being better than the Manchester United’s George Best.

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Champions League with Manchester United by defeating Chelsea. It was a remarkable match in which both teams of England contested against each other in the final and fans had much difficulty in acquiring the Chelsea Ticketsand Manchester United Tickets. Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest scoring player in the tournament and won the Golden Boot for this accolade. Furthermore, he also won three of the major PFA and FWA awards that season.

In 2009, he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of £80 million. His contract made him the highest paid player in the world and he proved his worth when he became the highest goal scorer in the history of Real Madrid for a single season. He is the first player in the history of Real Madrid to have scored more than 50 goals in single season. He went on to become the top goal scorer in the history of the La Liga. For his achievement, he was awarded the European Golden shoes once again and this made him the first player ever to have won this trophy in two separate championships.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a prolific player who has achieved a lot in his career. His greatest adversary is considered to be Lionel Messi who plays with their league rivals Barcelona. It has now become a common to refer to El Clasico as a clash between the two great players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They are one of the major reasons for the high sales of the Real Madrid Tickets and Barcelona Tickets as fans love to see the two players performing against each other.

But the biggest question that remains to be answered is: will Cristiano Ronaldo be able to help his side end the domination of Barcelona?

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