See What Tomorrow Will Look Like by Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The last time we thought about Valencia was when we ordered the 1961 epic movie «El Cid» from Netflix. However, our recent trip to Spain showed us there were many contemporary reasons to consider the ancient and relatively humble Valencia as a first class vacation destination.

A place where yesterday meets tomorrow

Since the time of El Cid – over the last thousand years or so – Valencia has seen Christian and Muslim conquerors come and go. Its history also includes being the birthplace of two Catholic Popes and three of the kings of Europe.

More recently, the city hosted the America’s Cup races and the Formula One European Grand Prix, but for the most part Valencia had taken up a quiet place in Spain’s colorful history – until the decade of the 1990s.

Enter the City of Arts and Sciences

If Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991) had lived to see the creation of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias by renowned Valencian architect, Santiago Calatrava, he may not have selected Marin County, California as the 2161 building site of the Starfleet Academy. Instead, he might have asked Senor Calatrava to design it for him in Valencia.

Construction on Calatrava’s amazing complex of otherworldly buildings began in 1998 along the old bed of the redirected Turia River at a reputed cost of more than $2.5 billion dollars.

The main structures

The Umbracle is the huge promenade entrance to the City of Arts and Sciences. Numerous lofty arches are covered in verdant vines that protect a garden and several species of tropical plants and trees.Along the colorful walk you will also find the ‘Stroll of the Sculptures’ an outdoor gallery of nine unusual figures by contemporary artists.

The Prince Phillip Museum of Sciences opened in 2000 and its design is often said to resemble a whale’s skeleton, or a dinosaur’s spine. Whatever your muse, this magnificent exhibit is actually an interactive museum that will prove fascinating to anyone interested in the scientific disciplines that study everything from questions about the origin of the universe to contemporary issues like the enigma of climate change.

The Queen Sophia Palace of Arts sits amidst a setting of Mediterranean blue reflecting pools. When it opened in 2005, it became the signature performing arts center in Spain for opera, theatre, and dance. At 248 feet, it is the tallest opera house in the world. The site encompasses four multi-purpose auditoriums and the smallest hall seats 400, the largest 1,700 people.

Proudly, the Queen Sophia Company hosts the Centre of Perfeccionament Placido Domingo, which is a celebrated program for young talented opera artists. As the name indicates, the program honors Spain’s most famous tenor, Placido Domingo.

The Oceanographic is like an underwater city and is the largest aquarium in Europe. It features over 500 species of fish and mammal inhabitants collected from the world’s oceans. The oceanographic compound covers some 20-acres and includes an unusual aquarium restaurant with floor to ceiling glass walls where curious fish can watch you savor the catch of the day along with your paella.

The Hemispheric is a visually striking eye-shaped Planetarium in the midst of a stunning turquoise pool. This popular attraction has a computerized astro-projector that shows the night sky with all the planets and stars on a screen so large you feel like an astronaut.

There is also a laser show displayed on a 900 square foot screen, and visitors can watch IMAX and 3-D journeys through space. It is no wonder that the Hemispheric Planetarium is now one of the top five buildings visited in Spain.

The Agora is the latest structure created by Calatrava’s architectural genius. This surrealistic multi-use sports arena is 262 feet high and seats over 5,500 spectators. The Agora is the venue for the Valencia Open 500 and is expected to take its place among the greatest sports facilities in the world.

The combined images

The various buildings of the Valencia City of Arts and Sciences have been called ‘techno-palaces’ and they certainly live up to the name. The scope of this unusual complex is breathtaking and an architectural marvel. The light, reflecting waters, shapes, and structural designs are a photographer’s dream. This is an intellectual Disneyland and could be a megalopolis base in the Galactic Empire in Star Wars.

Don’t miss the rest of Valencia

Visitors to Valencia will want to tour other attractions in the ancient city, like the Barrio del Carmen. Our bet is that your most cherished memories of Valencia will include both Calatrava’s brilliant gift of a glimpse of the future right along with the historic monuments of the past.

If you go

Valencia is 220 miles south of Barcelona on the sunny eastern coast of Spain. Valencia is easy to reach by airplane, train, bus, auto, and ship. If you arrive in Spain through Barcelona, be sure to check out our favorite boutique and unique hotel in Barcelona, the L’Antic Espai.

We flew to Barcelona from New York, with a stopover in Dublin via Air Lingus. We enjoyed the Irish hospitality in the air. We think you will too.

Happy travels!

Travels with Wayne and Judy

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The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

The Premier League maintains strong and consistent reach across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and NBC Sports Group’s live streaming products, led by the biggest stars and most prestigious teams in the world.

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The Different Types Of Soccer Cleat Patterns

Soccer shoes may not improve your playing skills, but they definitely ensure that you put your best foot forward and give the best performance. There are so many brands offering all kinds of cleats. The most striking thing about the modern cleats is that they tend to be very colorful and appealing. But apart from looking at the colors and beautiful designs, you should ensure that you select the perfect pattern to match that play surface or ground.

Wearing the wrong type of cleat will not only make your play uncomfortable and minimize your chances of giving your best but you could also end up injuring yourself. Below are the different patterns you will find to make it easy for you to select the most suitable pair for your play.

Cleats for firm ground – Cleat patterns created for firm ground cover any field type that is generally dry in all climates where there are less rainy days. They are the standard cleats that you find in shoe stores and are accompanied by letters FG. In this category you will find long, narrow bladed studs and rounded studs. The rounded ones make better choices for damp ground, whereas the blades are best for dryer surfaces and offer overall stability. These cleats may also be referred to as hard ground cleats.

Cleats for soft ground – The cleats usually feature rounded metal studs with few contact points with the ground. They are best for wet surfaces and suitable for areas that receive lots of rain. The designs are done in such a way that the cleats, cut through the mud and offer reliable grip even under the wet conditions. The metallic cleats are however not a preference for many coaches because of the possible damage they risk when they meet the other players’ legs. You might want to check with your coach before selecting them.

Cleats for indoor courts – They are for smaller soccer games and designed for the artificial materials in the indoor courts. They feature a flat bottom and flex points or fins that run across the bottom part of the short so they remain comfortable and flexible. They do not only work well for indoor soccer, but also other indoor activities and can be just right for firm ground uses too even though they may not be recommended for those.

Cleats for turf surfaces – Astroturf is a material created to mimic a natural grass playfield and there are cleats intended for such. These soccer shoes will usually come with plenty of short stubby studs all over the bottom part so they are able to offer proper traction of the face grass surfaces. They come with an extra layer of lacquer that protects them from the artificial grass that can be abrasive; they are therefore glossier in appearance.

You can easily tell the cleats apart by the initials they are displayed with denoting the surfaces they are made for. You can also use reviews and guides to select the most suitable sports cleats for your use.

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The Premier League across NBC Sports Group launched in 2013 with their biggest and broadest programming commitment to-date in the United States. With live multi-platform coverage of all 380 games, analysis from best-in-class talent and extensive surrounding coverage all week long, NBC Sports Group has become the ultimate destination for new and existing Premier League fans.

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Holiday Destination Ideas for 2011

Tourists around the world always search for holiday destinations of their choice. There are a large number of holiday destinations spreading across the globe. The number is so big that it may create an utter confusion at the time of choosing your spot. Each of the continents is replete with many natural and man-made wonders and is waiting fervently to welcome the tourists from around the world. Below here is a list of top Holiday Destinations for 2011.

2011 Top Vacation Destinations

It is indeed a difficult task to select the best. Whatsoever, we have identified few best Destinations for your convenience.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In this Brazilian city, you can find the wonderful combination of sun, sea, glamour, glitz and of course samba. Fabulous beaches, beautiful seaside patios, and the presence of a large number of resorts, restaurants, night clubs and bars have added to the city’s attraction. In addition to this, exciting city is going to host the 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Naturally, major developments are taking place, drawing huge crowds to the city.

South Africa

This year only the country successfully hosted 2010 Soccer World Cup. It can be a great idea to visit this place in 2011 for holidaying as all the necessary arrangements for the visitors are still very much there in the country. It boasts of breathtaking natural beauty, wonderful beaches and an exciting repertoire of wildlife. On the other side, cities such as Cape Town, Cape Point and Kirstenbosch are indeed rich in culture and history. Aside from these, the world-famous wines, trekking in the Table Mountain and the amazing whales off Hermanus are major tourist draws.

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar can be one of the best place to visit. The Doha-Tribeca Film Festival is drawing a large number of visitors to this place. Next year will be the third edition of this event-Doha is indeed trying hard to make it a big international event. The city is hosting Asian Cup Soccer in the month of January. All these have made Doha an exciting place for holiday vacation in 2011.

Stockholm, Sweden

The city is home to many under-rated wonders and discoveries. Tourists flocking to this city must visit places like the streets of medieval Gamla Stan and the Royal Palace. One of the major attractions of this Scandinavian city is the Djurgården. This Game Park is famous for wonderful green spaces, scenic beauty, events and parks. It will definitely not be a bad idea visit the capital of Sweden for 2011 holidays.

Oswestry Town FC

Oswestry has been a home for football for as long as anyone can remember, in fact there are no official records relating to when the team was formed but it is a common perception that Oswestry FC would have been one of the first football teams formed in the world … maybe even the first. Originally born as Oswestry United, friendly matches were played on the local cricket pitch against local teams such as Chirk, Ruabon and the Druids, all of which are from the surrounding areas of Wrexham in North Wales. Oswestry United was a member member, along with Ruabon, Chirk and Druids of a league which covered North Wales and the Northern west of England known as "The combination".

In 1876, Oswestry became a founder member of the Football Association of Wales, subsequently entering the first ever Welsh cup the following season. Following the war, the team was renamed to Oswestry Town and they began competitiveness in the Welsh Alliance league Oswestry Town would later move to face different competition in the Birmingham league having been crowned champions of the Welsh Alliance in 1924 and desiring new challenges which came in the face of restructured teams such as Telford United, Shrewbury Town and Kidderminster Harriers.

Spells in the Cheshire League, the Southern Premier League and the Northern Premier League would follow put over time Oswestry Town began to struggle both on the pitch and off the pitch as the finances became strained and debt mounted This resolved in the sad sale of their long time home, the Victoria Road Ground and a period where football in Oswestry was suspended, possibly for the long term. Sometimes fortunes began to upturn with the use of the Park Hall site located on the outskirts of the town. Park Hall was an army built facility that already hosted many different sports in the area including Rugby Union and horse riding.

During the clubs stagnant years the face of football had changed with the introduction of a national league of Wales. As mentioned earlier Oswestry Town had been founder members of the Welsh Football Association and so had the right to play within it's league. Oswestry Town recommenced their football by entering the Welsh Nation League (Wrexham area) and began to clime the pyramid system of welsh football Leagues. Upon reaching the Cymru Alliance league which is one of two feeder leagues to the League of Wales. Oswestry Town won a League and Cup double at the first time of asking. However, sadly they were denied their chance of life in the top tier of Welsh football due to the Park Hall ground not meeting strict stadium requirements of the league. After much funding and contributions the club were able to raise money to purchase floodlights which brought the ground up to the correct standard and another successful Cymru Alliance season in 1999/2000 was met with further financial difficulties which again resulted the move to the League of Wales . This time the financial difficulties were too severe for the club to overcome and Oswestry Town have now played their last match. Football in Oswestry continues, at Park Hall due to the relocation of The New Saints who were previously based in nearby Lantsantfraid.

Real Madrid – The Best Football Club in the World

They are not only the most successful club in the world but also the richest in the world according to the latest survey done by the money league which publish their research results annually. Yes, its true that Real Madrid is the richest club by income for the season 2006-2007 probably for the season 2007-2008 too but the results are not completed yet.

So what makes Real Madrid not only the richest club in the world but more significantly, the most successful as well.Well the statistics do not lie and more often then not speak for themselves. For any club to be successful, only two titles could and should be given credit, The league and the Champions League, the rest are mere formalities as you all know (it does not take much to beat Sao Paulo in a cup final) so I am going to ignore the minor trophies here, lets have a look at most of the major football clubs track records against the Madrid Galacticos.

Manchester United have won only two Champions League trophy, one way way back when it was known as the European cup and the other in 1999, they have 16 league titles.

* Barcelona have also won two champions league trophies and 18 league titles

* Liverpool have won the competition FIVE times and they have 18 league titles

* Inter Milan have 2 champions league titles and 15 league titles

* Ac milan have 7 champions league titles and 17 league titles

There are some other major clubs as well but they have just started to grow so lets just ignore them for a moment.

Finally, Real Madrid has won 9 champions league titles and 30 league titles. Now I have listed all the great clubs of Europe above, not even a single club can match or come close to the records set by the Spanish powerhouse. Thus proving what I stated earlier that real Madrid is the undisputed champion of champions.

Real Madrid is the only team that holds the Cup in property, having won the title five consecutive times.

Does Mo Salah Have a Shot at Winning the Ballon D’Or?

This question has been on the minds of many football fans as they witnessed the performance of the 25-year old Egyptian forward over the course of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson had once told that Inside Forwards are more dangerous than traditional forwards. The Egyptian seems to be trying to prove Ferguson’s remarks true. He has shown explosive bouts of pace, exceptional fitness levels, extraordinary shooting accuracy and the form of his life.

So, once again, does Mo Salah have a shot at winning the Ballon d’Or? Not Quite Yet!

The reason is rather simple- Liverpool as a team have not won any silverware this season as of yet. So does this count? Yes, it does. Despite all his exploits, the team has not been successful in any major competition apart from the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool just won the first-leg of their semi-finals against AS Roma 5-2. Salah proved to be instrumental in this trashing of his old club yet again as he ended the match with 2 goals and 2 assists. He had managed to score seven goals in his 7 outings in the Champions League during the leadup to the Semi-finals. He has shown out of the ordinary striking form through-out the Premier League season. But unless Liverpool win the Champions League, his dream of winning the Ballon d’Or will remain just that, a dream.

But things have not always gone according to script for the Egyptian. His initial entry into the Premier League was with Chelsea, who bought him from FC Basel. But he could only make 13 appearances and score 2 goals before being loaned-off to Italian side, Fiorentina. He was then loaned to AS Roma who bought him from Chelsea for a complete transfer. He enjoyed considerable success at the club. Liverpool then bought from Roma before the start of the 2017-18 season. Many of the experts voiced their doubts about Salah’s ability to adopt to the Premier League. But all of them have been silenced now, given his performance and sheer attacking prowess he has shown.

Salah also helped Egypt qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018, their first appearance since the 1990 World Cup. He emerged as Egypt’s top scorer during the qualifying tournament and scored both the goals in the all important match against Congo. He has so far scored 43 times for Liverpool during this season and is only behind Ian Rush in the all time top goal scorer’s for the club in a single season.

Mo Salah has already been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the year. So let us hope Liverpool will maintain their momentum and take their current form into the second leg against AS Roma.

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