Great destinations in the world – SPAIN

With an area of 505,990 km2 (195,360 sq mi), Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spain’s capital and largest city is Madrid; other major urban areas include Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Málaga and Bilbao. There are many beautiful and historically significant places in Spain. I describe below nine such places which are not to be missed by the tourist who wants to enjoy his holidays in Spain. These are:

1. The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada

The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada

No matter how much you have read or how many pictures you have seen of Granada’s Alhambra palaces, this Moorish pleasure palace will still take your breath away. The Nasrid dynasty’s royal palace is the artistic highlight of Spain’s Islamic period, when Al-Andalus — as they called Andalucía — represented the epitome of culture and civilization in Europe’s Middle Ages.

The Alhambra complex includes several buildings, towers, walls, gardens, and a mosque, but it’s the indescribably intricate stone carvings, the delicate filigrees, the magnificent tile-lined ceilings, the graceful arches, and serene courtyards of the Nasrid palace that will haunt your dreams.

That said, the adjoining palace built for the Emperor Charles V, even in its unfinished state is the finest example of High Renaissance architecture in Spain. And Generalife’s terraced gardens offer a peaceful respite from the grandeur, and splendid views back at the rest of the Alhambra.

2. Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites | Leandro Neumann Ciuffo / photo modified

Antoni Gaudi took the architectural style known as Art Nouveau a step further, even, some have argued, into absurdity. The fanciful and outrageous buildings he created in Barcelona have become landmarks, the signature attractions of this Catalan city. Foremost is The Sagrada Família church, officially the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família or the Holy Family Church of the Atonement. One of Europe’s most unconventional churches, it is also unfinished, so as you look down from its tower, you can see the work in progress below.

You may search in vain for absolute straight lines in Gaudi’s Casa Milà, his last and most famous secular work; it resembles a piece of sculpture more than a functional building. Be sure to ascend to its roof — the chimneys are said to have inspired the image of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

Parc Güell overlooks the city from a hillside, the views and gardens framed by fantastical creatures — salamanders, fish, an octopus — and designs in bright ceramic-chard mosaics. A fanciful towered house near the entrance is largely covered in colored ceramics. Unlike most buildings, Gaudi’s appeal even to children and to adults who don’t care a thing about architecture, for one simple reason — they are just plain fun to look at.

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3. The Prado and Paseo del Artes, Madrid

4. San Lorenzo de El Escorial

San Lorenzo de El Escorial

San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometers northwest of Madrid, was the summer home of Spain’s kings, and in 1563, work was begun here on a huge complex, which would include a monastery, church, royal palace, mausoleum, library, and museum, all conceived as a monument to Philip II and his reign. The result is a staggering collection of attractions, built around 16 courtyards, its rooms and structures connected by 16 kilometers of corridors. At its core is the church, the highlight of which is Herrera’s 30-meter-high retablo, made of jasper and red marble and approached by a flight of 17 steps.

Along with the vaulted and frescoed ceilings by Tibaldi in the rooms off the lower cloister, highlights of the monastery are the Panteón de los Reyes (the Baroque burial vault of the Spanish kings) and the library, a grand room also decorated by Tibaldi frescoes.

In the palace, be sure to see the Bourbon Suite, where the state apartments of Charles IV are decorated with rare furnishings and 338 tapestries. Beyond are the art-filled private apartments of Philip II. The Picture Gallery below has a large collection of fine paintings, including works by Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Velázquez, and El Greco.

5. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

You really have to see this building to believe it — no photograph has ever done justice to this symphony of shapes, so alive that they seem ready to take wing. American architect Frank Gehry used blocks of limestone and undulating sheets of titanium to turn the notion of modern architecture on its ear. So thoroughly did he succeed that two new terms were born from it: “The Bilbao Effect” — the ability of a city to turn its fortunes around by constructing a single world-class building — and “architourism,” a whole segment of the travel industry revolving around landmarks of contemporary architecture. Inside the museum are traveling exhibitions and rotating displays of its own collections of modern art.

6. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

The magnificent cathedral of Santiago (St. James) was built to house and honor the relics of the saint, and it has been the goal of pilgrims since the Middle Ages, the culmination of their completing the famed Camino de Santiago. One of the outstanding monuments of Early Romanesque architecture, the cathedral was built between 1060 and 1211, and despite the Baroque transformation of the exterior in the 16th to 18th centuries, the interior is still in the purest Early Romanesque style.

You’ll see both of these periods at play as you enter the west front, through one of Spain’s most impressive church facades. Step inside to face the Pórtico de la Gloria, part of the old west front now concealed by the 18th-century facade. This triple doorway is one of the largest and most magnificent collections of Romanesque sculpture in the world.

The focal point of the interior is the elaborately decorated Capilla Mayor, built over the Apostle’s tomb. In the center of the high altar of jasper, alabaster, and silver is a 13th-century wooden figure of the Apostle, richly adorned in precious metals and gems. On either side, narrow staircases lead up behind the figure so that pilgrims can kiss the Apostle’s cloak – culminating their pilgrimage. In a crypt under the altar, the Apostle’s remains are in a silver casket.

7. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia

When Valencia diverted the course of the river that had repeatedly flooded the city, it was left with a broad, flat riverbed spanned by bridges. It was upon this clean palette that the brilliant Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava created a breathtaking ensemble of structures that have become a magnet for aficionados of contemporary architecture. Not only the buildings, but the museums, arts venues, and aquarium (by Félix Candela and the only building not designed by Calatrava) form a series of tourist attractions that rank among Spain’s most popular. Europe’s largest oceanographic aquarium, L’Oceanogràfic, was built in the shape of a water lily with buildings dedicated to different aquatic environments from the tropics to the poles.

8. Costa del Sol Beaches

Costa del Sol Beaches

With the record as Europe’s sunniest place, and mile after mile of white sands lapped by gentle seas, it’s no wonder that the Costa del Sol beaches are the goal of sun-starved northern Europeans looking for sun-and-sand getaways. This popularity caused serious over-development initially, but the Andalucian government has not only put a stop to this, it has begun the process of tearing down the worst offenders and returning entire sections of coast to natural landscapes, clean beaches, and attractive new buildings that are more in harmony with their surroundings.

The beaches are not Costa del Sol’s only attraction for tourists. Revitalizing its hub city of Málaga has made this coast even more alluring to everyone. Yachtsmen love the smart marina of Puerto Banus, and avid golfers head west from Marbella’s old-world charms to Nueva Andalucia, known as Golf Valley for its more than 50 courses. A few steps from the beach in Marbella is the old town of whitewashed houses and well-preserved remains of the Moorish Castillo.

9. La Rambla, Barcelona

La Rambla, Barcelona

La Rambla, Barcelona

Strolling along La Rambla on a summer evening, you might think that every single one of Barcelona’s inhabitants was there with you. It’s definitely the place to be after work on a summer evening or on a weekend. This tree-lined boulevard cuts a green line — not a very straight one — through the city center, stretching northwest from the Columbus Memorial near the port.

The section to the Plaça de Catalunya is lined with plane trees, its wide pedestrian zone flanked by a narrow road on each side. Along with its flower and bird markets, La Rambla has a number of book and newspaper stands, as well as restaurants and cafes with open-air tables. Pavement artists, street musicians, living statues, and impromptu performers all add to its lively atmosphere.

10 Steps to enhance your self Awareness

By Vikram Kakri and Satish kakri

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As a first step, it is necessary to know yourself. How do we do that? Identify your strengths and know your weaknesses clearly. It’s better to prepare a document giving details, why you say, what you say. This will give you a reasonable understanding of your personality as for now. P People usually say that self awareness is the key to success in life. That means all know the fact, but we do not follow it. This is due to lack of understanding of Self Awareness.

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Before knowing anything else, you need to know yourself first. You need to know your weaknesses, strengths, beliefs and desires in life. Keeping in touch with your emotions means, you have to be self-aware.

Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.

The most important characteristic of a leader is self-awareness, the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and reactions. Learning how to be aware of yourself might not be easy, but if you can master this skill, it will help you become a much more effective leader. Many of us are not fond of spending much time on self-reflection. And even though personal feedback is presented, people are not always open to it because honest feedback isn’t always flattering. Thus, many people indeed have low level of self-awareness.

However, self-awareness can help you identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you want to improve your self-awareness and develop your potential, I listed down 12 tips that might help you.

  1. How strengths are helping you and how weaknesses are pulling you back?                                                                                                
    Knowing your strengths and coping with your weaknesses, will help you improve self-awareness. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that compose of who we are and this will help you shape how to reach your goals. Your weaknesses hold you back from achieving many great things while your strengths are something that comes very easily for you to take. You should take ownership in assessing yourself because it is for your own personal development. We should know to we are using our strengths. For example, we may have Intelligence and Knowledge to find out solution to the challenge we  are  facing, but if we apply our mind, if we do not spend time required to contemplate on the challenge; we are only wasting our potential. According to me, the strengths need to be fully utilized. Then you should try your best to enhance your strengths.  If  you follow these simple steps these then success of being self aware is not far away.
  2. Similarly you check out problems which are caused by your weaknesses. I will ask you some some questions; Have you suffered due to weaknesses in the past or not? If you have suffered then what did you do to tackle the problem?  If you did not tackle the problem then why did you not do it? The moment you start asking these questions you are bound to realize what big mistake you are making  and how important Self Awareness is for humans. Asking these questions day in and day out will surely  compel you  to practice Self Awareness
  1. Feedback is a free aid which should not be wasted

Feedback is necessary for the development   as everyone do not know there weaknesses. People usually feel shy to accept there weaknesses. It is there misconceptions. I feel that taking feedback from people  is not at all wrong .the people who give you genuine criticism are actualy your friends and there opinion must be respected.

This might not be easy, especially if you are close minded and defensive to people who give critiques to you. Remember that without correction, your weaknesses would limit how far you could take yourself. Asking feedback can be as hurtful as it can be empowering. Although no one enjoys it, but we should try to view criticism as a useful feedback to improve ourselves. It will help you learn more about the traits that you need to develop, personally and professionally.

  1. Develop intuitive decision making skills
    Decision making is generally difficult. It even more difficult for people who are not self aware. If we continue to take decisions without over – pondering, we will develop intuitive skills, which is also known as deciding by the gut feeling.

Intuition plays a significant role in developing your self-awareness. This can be the source of significant errors in the course of decision making. Your intuition will help you navigate faster yet, this can also be misled if too many of your facts are wrong. Moreover, this will help you even more, this is an effective way to feed your subconscious mind.

  1. identify what makes you emotionally weak.

Self awareness  teaches many things regarding your emotional self. Identifying what exactly emotionally triggers you can be challenging but getting to know and understanding it, can help you improve yourself. The key to cope with it, is to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered. As long as you noticed that you are emotionally reacting, you just have to shift your emotional state in order to think through it.

5.Accept your  boundaries

Everyone has some limitations. It is true for physical  work. It is also true for your mental efforts.
Keeping your boundaries firmly will help you maintain the integrity of your goals and the work you put in it. Setting your boundaries and sustaining it, is a skill. However, it is a skill that many people don’t learn. Recognizing it means knowing and understanding your limits. Also, it takes courage and support but is a skill you can master that will help you develop yourself.

  1. Discipline has no equal.

The importance of discipline can never be exaggerated.In every area of your life, you need to practice self-discipline. It is a trait that provides you with the enduring focus necessary for you. If you want to control your desires and impulses to stay focused on what you think needs to get done to successfully achieve that goal, you need to practice self-discipline. This will also help you develop your potential and improve yourself awareness, since self-discipline help you form habits to attain your goals in life.

  1. Prejudice has no place in life.
    One of the most difficult things to practice is to keep an open mind. Understanding someone’s point of view even if you disagree can change and free your mind. Change the way you think and don’t get stuck in a mindset that makes you frustrated or helpless. This is one of the best tools in order to simplify life. Try to comprehend every situation on your path and it will help you improve your self-awareness and develop own potential.
  2. 8. stretch yourself to explore new ideas
    Exploring new things will teach you a thing about yourself. This is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to do something you’ve never done before. Unfamiliar things will help you respond in different ways that you never thought is possible. Travelling alone is also another way to discover things about yourself.
  3. 9. Enthusiasm is the food for motivation
    Whatever has to be done, is always your choice. Sometimes you might feel heavy as you rise and it is hard to get going. Keep in mind the importance of enthusiasm. Feeling less motivated too often is Motivating yourself and viewing life in a positive side will help you develop your potential and self awareness. In addition, awareness of your psychological needs can increase your motivation by helping you understand and seek out the reward that you desire.
  4. 10. contemplate and talk to yourself every morning.
    Meditation is a practice of improving your moment-by-moment awareness. Meditation usually begins with appreciating of, focusing on, inhaling and exhaling. However, this doesn’t need to be formal or ritualistic. Just simply find a few seconds to focus on your breathing , often before sleep. Also, meditation can be helpful if you ask yourself set of questions like “what can I do to change?”, “what am I trying to achieve?”, or “How am I going to cope with my fears?”

Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.

Attitude Is Everything-Here’s How to Keep It Positive


Even if –at any given time–your choices of action are limited, your choices regarding your attitude are not. Always choose a positive attitude.

A positive attitude makes you happier and more resilient, it improves your relationships, and it even increases your chances of success in any endeavor. In addition, having a positive attitude makes you more creative and it can help you to make better decisions. To top it all off, there are studies that show that people with a positive attitude live longer than their sourpuss counterparts.

There are people who seem perpetually perky and whose good nature appears as innate as their eye color. But attitude is not a fixed state. Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction. It’s never too late to change it. If your attitude is deflating you, here’s how to pump it up.

What if there was a way you could easily expand your mind and see greater possibilities in life? What if you could develop better skills naturally?

When people think of having a positive attitude, they probably think it’s little more than plastering a smile on their face and trying to think happy thoughts.

But it’s more than that.

A positive attitude is something that goes deeper and has an effect beyond surface cheer. Negative attitudes promote fear, and a narrowing of focus and the mind, while positive attitudes do the opposite. No one should live in a constant state of “fight or flight”, but negative attitudes create exactly that scenario.

Studies have also shown that having a true positive attitude makes your view of life seem broad, full of possibilities. That view leads to actually living your life in a way that makes it natural to be exposed to and acquire new skills.

1. Evaluate your current attitude.

This is the hardest step in the process. You need to detach from yourself and take a hard look at how you respond to situations.

  • Identify your problem feelings. What attitudes make you feel most negative about yourself?
  • Identify your problem behaviors. What actions create conflict between you and others?
  • Identify your problem thinking. What thoughts cloud or control your mind?

2. Write a statement of purpose.

If your biggest flaw is impatience with others, for example, vow to take a deep breath, listen to them more carefully and develop empathy—an ability to see situations through other people’s eyes. If your downfall is complaining, learn to smile, speak positive words, or if all else fails, silence yourself entirely.

3. Find new words.

If you were trying to motivate other people, you’d pump them up, wouldn’t you? You’d offer words of support, encouragement and inspiration.

Do you do the same for yourself? So many people I’ve met—people with tremendous potential—shortchange themselves with a self-defeating internal voice. I can’t. I doubt. I don’t think. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid. I don’t believe.

This self-doubt darkens our attitudes, limits our success and casts a shadow over our lives. The fix is easy: Change the language. I can. I expect the best. I know. I’ll make the time. I am confident. I believe.

4. Rewire your thought patterns.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns.

It’s our thoughts, not our circumstances, that determine our happiness. Often, people are convinced they will be happy when they attain a certain goal. When they do, they are surprised and disappointed to discover that they don’t feel fulfilled. What they don’t realize is the act of filling one’s mind with good thoughts every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives, will bring more overall satisfaction than the one-time high of a job well done.

5. Develop good habits.

An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought. Habits aren’t instincts; they’re acquired actions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. Many people allow their habits to control them. That’s good if the habits enhance our quality of life. If not, well, life becomes cloudy indeed. You can change your habits. Here’s how:

  •  List your bad habits.
  •  Determine the root cause(s) behind them.
  •  Determine a positive habit to replace a bad one.
  •  Take action to develop that.
  •  Act upon this new habit daily.
  •  Reward yourself by noting one of the benefits of this new habit.

I see habit change as a process, so don’t dismay if you don’t see results overnight. The early stages will be the hardest. Those bad habits want to remain in control. In the middle stages, you’re on the proverbial fence, deciding whether to step fully onto the other side or tumble back into your old ways. In the late stage, you’ve successfully corrected a flaw and are enjoying the attitudinal shift that comes with it. But beware: Complacency is the enemy. Just ask anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back.

Back to that Gatorade commercial, where tennis great Serena Williams looks dead-on at the camera, steely-eyed. Her secret to victory was being “on the wrong side in the biggest upset of your sport,” a reference to her stunning fall in the 2015 U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy.

Two years later, she became the only tennis player, man or woman, to win 23 singles Grand Slam titles in the Open era.

“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life—got to learn to keep smiling,” she says. “If you smile, things will work out.”

Author amitkakri

Posted on April 25, 2019

Categories Personality development, Uncategorized

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