Lisbon City

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with a population of 552,700 within its administrative limits in an area of ​​100.05 km². Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.7 million people, being the 11th-most populated urban area in the European Union. About 2.8 million people live in the Lisbon (Lisboa) Metropolitan Area, which represents approximately 27% of the country's population. (Wikipedia Info).

The geography of Lisbon can be confusing, It's a very hilly city (7 hills). Lisbon is a legendary city with over 20 centuries of history and the capital of Portugal since its consent from the Moors in 1147,

The Alfama quarter is one of the oldest in Lisbon, since it survived the earthquake, the area still looks much of its original layout. Next to Alfama are the old quarters of Castelo and Mouraria, the western and northern slopes of the hill that is crowned by St. Louis. George's Castle.

To the west of Praça do Comercio is Bairro Alto and Madragoa, with their typical streets, and on the western extreme is Belém, with its Belém Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Cultural Center of Belém.

In Lisbon you can experience springtime temperatures during the winter and cool summers freshened by a breeze blowing in from the Atlantic.

Lisbon Downtown

The big square near the river (Praça do Comercio) is the Baixa Pombalina, stretching from the Rossio (Praça Dom Pedro IV). The Baixa is the area of ​​town which was rebuilt first after the big earthquake (1755), which destroyed the area. Spreading along the Tagus river, Lisbon downtown is from the XVIII century (Rossio). The Rossio is packed with shops of all kinds, and during the day it's packed with shoppers as well. It's great fun, and a great place to find clothes and souvenirs. There are some wonderful shops for wine, try Napoleao at Rua dos Fanqueiros 70, where you can taste almost any bottle before you buy.

Every year in June, the streets of all three quarters come alive with the feasts in honor of the popular Saint Antony. The Graça quarter and the churches of São Vicente de Fora and Santa Engrácia are within walking distance of this area. Blue skies and sunshine brightens the city most of the year. Lisbon is typical tile building facades with every color and narrow Medieval streets, where one can hear the fado being sung at night.

Lisbon is also the stage for modern art, summer music festivals, exquisite shopping and exciting nightlife.

Lisbon Museums to visit:

National Ancient Art Museum, Chiado (Contemporary Art), Tile (Mother of God Monastery), Archeology, Ethnology, National Coach Museum, Costume, Theater, Maritime, Military, City, Gulbenkian, Modern Art Center, and the Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva Foundation .

Lisbon Palaces open to the public:

Ajuda and Fronteira.

Churches:

Cathedral (with Treasury); São Vicente de Fora; Conceição Velha (Manueline), São Roque and Sacred Art; Madre Deus; Santa Engrácia Pantheon (Baroque), and the Estrela Basilica.

Shopping Downtown:

Avenida da Liberdade, Avenida de Roma, Praça de Londres, Avenida Guerra Junqueiro, and Amoreiras.

Nightlife:

Bairro Alto and Avenida 24 de Julho.

Places to Visit Around Lisbon:

Arrábida Natural Park and Sesimbra Day Trip from Lisbon – Mediterranean vegetation by the Atlantic; Azeitão – Sleepy village with fine mansions and wine; Cascais – Playground of nobility; picturesque resort; a surfer's, windsurfer and kite paradise; Ericeira – Traditional seaside village; surfing mecca, superb seafood; Estoril – The inspiration for James Bond; Europe's largest casino; Golf courses; Mafra – One of Europe's largest palaces, the building that bankrupted the nation; Óbidos – A medieval village, not to be missed; Queluz – Palace mixing Versailles' French grandeur and Portuguese eclecticism; Sintra – Enchanting with mystery atmosphere; Romantic; Europe's western point; Sesimbra – Calm waters in a fishing village, mystical cape; Setubal – Busy port; the birthplace of Manueline architecture; dolphin-watching.



Source by Alexandra D'Oliveira

Austin Apartments for Rent – An Overview for Prospective Renters

Apartments in Austin, Texas have seen increasing demand over the last year as the central Texas economy has begun to recover and employers have continued to expand their businesses and hire new employees. Along with the employment opportunities offered by companies such as Dell, Motorola and AMD, Austin has long been a popular destination due to it's climate, beautiful neighborhoods, highly-ranked public schools and institutions of higher learning such as the University of Texas.

Austin Apartments are available in a number of sizes and floor plans from 400 square foot studios to 3,000 square foot downtown Austin penthouses. There are hundreds of communities located within and close to Austin that range in size from one hundred to over six hundred units. These properties often have amenities such as courtyards, clubhouses, large balconies, lagoon-style swimming pools, stunning lanscapes, direct-access garages and much more. Many of the newer Austin apartment communities also provide luxuries such as free WiFi, state of the art fitness facilities, limited access gates and pre-wired alarm panels in every unit. Depending on the age of the property, location, and amenities, rents can range from $ 650 per month for one bedroom floor plans to over $ 2,000 per month for premium Downtown units. Fee associated with renting Austin apartments typically include an application fee, administrative fee and a security deposit. Although the fees can vary broadly from one community to another, renters should expect to pay around $ 40 to $ 50 for an application fee and anywhere from $ 100 to $ 300 for the combined administrative fee and deposit. Lease terms offered usually range from six to fifteen months with twelve months being most common. For those who need a shorter lease term, many communities offer three month leases for an additional monthly fee or "upcharge" of $ 150 to $ 400 per month. Not surprisingly, management companies often offer a lower monthly rent for a longer term so choosing a twelve month lease over a six month lease may save the prospective renter anywhere from $ 15 to $ 35 per month or more.

Although many factors must be considered when choosing an apartment in Austin, Texas, most renters give priority to the neighborhood, proximate to employers and academic institutions, and the current rents of properties in those areas. Other considerations may include community pet policies for those renters who have large pets, parking options such as covered or garage parking, units features such as washer and dryer connections or an included washer and dryer, safety features, lease terms and rent concessions.

There are a number of professional and non-profit associations in the Austin Metro area that offer information about apartment and condominium rental availability. In addition to these associations, there are also real estate agents who work as apartment locators, assisting prospective renters in finding a great new place to live. The internet can also be an excellent source of information on Austin apartments for rent with the most current and accurate data typically being offered by local apartment locating services who specialize in the Austin apartment market.



Source by Jason L. Hicks

Los Angeles

Come … know the city of los angeles

Los Angeles, nicknamed 'The City of Angels' is the second largest city in the United States. The name Los Angeles has a Spanish origin where Los means 'The' in Spanish and Angeles mean 'Angels'. Historically this famous city was founded in 1781 by the then Spanish Governor Felipe de Neve. Today it is like every one's dream to be there at least once in his lifetime. Los Angeles has some famous streets whose names you can not fail to hear: Sunset Boulevard, that takes you from the ocean to downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica Boulevard, the Rodeo drive and many others. It also has some famous neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica and of course the absolutely-not-miss-able, the name that every one genetically knows 'Hollywood'. The list goes on …

Los Angeles is located in the southern part of the state of California and has a huge population of around 3.8 million according to the recent estimates. Today this city is the buzzword for glitz, glamour, media, art, business and economy. The racial mix in Los Angeles has one of the highest diversity in the world.

The population here has an explosive growth. People form various backgrounds and countries head to Los Angeles for name, fame and money. Owning to this intense diversity in the population, which is ever expanding with time, the languages ​​prevalent here is also diverse. Along with that, this shift and movement of people has a very deep reaching effect on the economy of any place. Due to a shell of glamor, glitz and fashion, the economy of Los Angeles may seem unaffected by and changes around it but benefit this shell even the city's economy is closely entwined with even the smallest of factors.

Economy of the city.

Southern California has always been the incubation pot for new and revolutionary ideas in the United States. So, you can already guess Los Angeles has been a seat of unparallel economic growth. It stands second in the volume and density of automobile industries after Detroit. Almost all the famous automobile companies have design centers located in Los Angeles. It is the largest Pacific port in United States and the doorway to international trade with developed Pacific cities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. It has the largest airport on the pacific coast of United States. So, it must already be clear to you that the economy of Los Angeles is a symbol of America's prosperity.

There are many new commercial development projects that are either happening or are soon to be launched. The new network of all the transcontinental railway routes for trade and cargo will have Los Angeles as a final terminus. Biotech industries have started establishing new bases here along with the old ones they already had.

But beneath this high economic status of this city, the conditions of the people are a little different. The unemployment rate here is higher than the US average. Although many new jobs are generated in the field of Biotech, but other fields are facing effects of the recession. Cost of living is huge and the taxes are pretty high. The employment generation here is on a negative curve although it is expected to improve by 2012. The ever growing population is affecting the situation deeply.

New offices

But the growth in some sectors and the stimulus by the federal government is trying to make the situation better. New offices are being established. New massive real estate projects are coming up to accommodate new offices. The availability of office spaces had rise of about 15% to 20% in the last few years. The lease rates and the rental rates are higher than the country's median estimate. The lease rates vary with the neighborhood mostly within a range of $ 15 to $ 50 per sqft per year. The costs are very high in the high status neighborhoods like Beverly Hills.

The crime rate here is a little high about 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. But the Los Angeles Police Department is one of the best in US. They are there for the protection of the people. Along with that the beautiful Mediterranean climate makes it a perfect fashion, media, business as well as travel destination.



Source by Geoffer King

Bat City USA – Austin, Texas

Most people associate Austin, Texas with the outstanding music scene and industry that is there or the "Longhorns" of the University of Texas at Austin, however, there is something else incredible that resides in the heart of the city and that is a colony of over 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats.

I had previously read and heard about this anomaly which is the largest urban bat colony in the world but I had never witnessed it so I decided to check that one of my bucket list as I was in town on business. I made my way from I-35 over to Congress Street and then I drve down it and across Lady Bird Lake to Riverside Drive and the "Long Center for the Performing Arts" where there is a great public parking garage. I parked there and then walked across the street to Butler Park and made my way down to the Lady Bird Lake bike and foot trail.

It was about an hour before sundown and it was a warm October evening. A few clouds were in the sky and as the sun began to set it turned the interesting glass and steel architecture of the downtown skyline to gold and it beautifully reflected in Lady Bird Lake. There were all sorts of people outside enjoying the open areas near the lake and running, walking and cycling along the trails.

I walked along the trail east and under the Ann W. Richards – Congress Avenue Bridge. I walked under the bridge and found that on the east side of the south abutment of the bridge, there is a round grassy hill where people gather to watch the bats emerge from their perches each night. There were interpretive signs there that told much information about these mammals.

I learned that each evening about 20 min. prior to sundown, 1.5 million bats stream out of the bridge and go foraging for insects. These winged varmints everywhere from 10,000 – 30,000 pounds of insects every night! One adult bat is capable of eating over 600 mosquitoes in an hour! These bats made this bridge their home back in 1980 when the deck of the bridge was refurbished.

When this was done there were 16 inch crevasses created in the concrete running the length of the bridge. Nearby, the temperature and humidity in these crevasses is perfect for female bats to raise their young. Over 750,000 female bats give birth to a single pup each on an annual basis at this bridge.

Each spring these bats migrate up from Mexico and then around November, they migrate back down to warmer areas for the winter. As I stand there listening to the un-seen bats chattering, waiting for them to come out, appreciating the graceful arches of the Congress Avenue bridge, a few singular "blinks" of colored light occurred as the various lighting decorations of the downtown skyscrapers came on … neon white here, blue over there red and gold lights.

More people began to gather at the site and hundreds of people were up on the bridge looking over the railing in anticipation of the great nightly bat flight. Pleasure craft and tour boats milled about in the water and it was warm with a slight breeze. Just then a deaf guy came up to me and tried to sell me a button, I waved him off and then thought about it again and thought "what the heck" and summed him back.

I asked him through gestures how much and he handed me a button. I looked at the card with it and it stated "I made these buttons to earn a living and any money would be appreciated" I gladly handed him some money and took my button that showed bats flying over the bridge. On the back of the card was the American Sign language alphabet with pictures.

I thought this was very cool and I thank him. He was very grateful and he motioned that I should go up on the bridge to the first light pole cause that vantage point was much better. I took this expert advice and climbed the stairs up to the bridge deck and sidewalk near the first pole.

All of a sudden, bats began emerging from under the bridge … they looked like a bunch of black butterflies or leaves that were being blown by some big fan somewhere. The stream of bats was ever increasing until there was a constant "Bat River" coming out from under the bridge and down Lady Bird Lake.

This Bat River looked like a hoard of locust off in the distance and the flow of bats continued for about 10 min from various locations under the bridge. This was really an amazing sight to behold. I've seen a bat here and there exploring an old mine or cave but I've never seen hundreds of thousands of them pouring out from under an urban bridge with skyscrapers reflecting colored light in the water.

It was incredible. If you are interested in witnessing the Bat Exodus … the best times according to the information are from March to October with August being the best. If you go there, it is highly recommended that you do not touch any bats because you can injure them and they may harbor disease. These bats are of extreme importance to the Austin environment as they devour tons of pests every night.

There is actually a "Bat Hotline" you can call for viewing information. The number is 512-416-5700 and then enter 3636. You can also find all kinds of useful information concerning Austin, TX on the website http://www.austin360.com . You can find all kinds of information on http://www.batcon.org/ Bat Conservation International. I've seen a lot of things in my travels but this one makes my most unusually amazing list. Go to Austin and witness a true anomaly of nature in a truly beautiful setting.



Source by Jaromy Jessop