Just over half the world’s population live in cities and towns. And by 2050, it is predicted that city dwellers will make up two thirds of human civilisation. As well as being where most of us call home, cities tell stories and can help us understand our ancestors and the geography of the world we live in. From a city which takes up the entire of an island in the Indian ocean to the hardest city to visit in the world, here Lonely Planet shares some of the world’s extreme cities, ahead of the launch of the new edition of “The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World”. Crumbling Amman, in Jordan, for example, is considered the world’s oldest capital city, allegedly founded in 1200BC. Originally built on seven hills, the impressive Citadel sits at the top the city’s highest point, Jebel al-Qala’a. Ashgabat, in the Turkmenistan desert, is devoted to its former president, known to all as Turkmenbashi. The Russian town was almost … [Read more...] about Have you visited any of the world’s most extreme cities?
Image copyright Inpho Image caption Ladies Gaelic football is one of the youngest sports in Ireland but has built up a huge following High fielding, strong shouldering, courageous blocking - Ireland's ladies Gaelic footballers' commitment matches their male equivalents and then some. And their efforts are paying off. A massive 46,286 people attended this year's All-Ireland Ladies Gaelic Football finals day, making it the highest attended women's sporting event in the world in 2017.Nearly 125,000 spectators travelled to Iowa for the Solheim Cup - the female equivalent of golf's Ryder Cup - but that tournament was held over three days.The previous highest attendance at a female sporting event this year was the 35,271 who attended the Women's FA Cup Final at London's Wembley Stadium. Pitch-side proposalAt 2017's … [Read more...] about Ladies Gaelic football on top of the world
For most of history, and despite the stereotype of urban squalour, it has been the countryside where poverty has particularly thrived. But as the world urbanises, poverty is moving with it. Over the past decade, the share of poverty in the developing world blighting cities rather than rural areas has jumped from 17% to 28%. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost a quarter of all poverty is urban. In east Asia, half. You know it when you see it, of course, but modelling poverty is a complicated business, and ranking hardship not a simple, or happy, task. One thing is certain, though: given that China has so effectively hauled much of its population out of pauperism, and with North Korea statistically dark, sub-Saharan Africa has the most extreme examples of urban impoverishment. What is the oldest city in the world? Read more There are supranational forces that take a strong interest in these things: the UN, the IMF and the World Bank chief among them. (The CIA is pretty hot … [Read more...] about Which is the poorest city in the world?
The Doomsday Clock, used by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists for the last 70 years to indicate the danger level of global nuclear annihilation, was recently moved to “two-and-a-half minutes to midnight”. On an Aboriginal timeline, we might recall much older lore about uranium, which warns of a monster that must be left in the ground or it will destroy the earth with fire; or the blue tongue lizard Dreaming story warning about radioactive poison. Indigenous reasoning does not tolerate isolated variables, so from an Aboriginal perspective you can’t ignore the interconnected issues. The threat of nuclear apocalypse is occurring during the greatest species extinction event in aeons. Rare earth metal refining – for the solar panels we all put our hopes in – produces tons of radioactive waste that can’t be safely stored. The disaster site at Fukushima continues to leak. Nuclear-armed developing nations in South Asia are running out of water. Developed … [Read more...] about I’m part of the world’s oldest living culture, but could I kill a zombie with a boomerang?
The end times will be triggered today when the mysterious Planet X approaches Earth from beyond the solar system, according to conspiracy theorists.It has been claimed that the colossal Planet X will pass Earth, causing widespread chaos and destruction due to its gravitational waves.The shocking doomsday theory has been widely disputed by leading scientific bodies, but ancient evidence has emerged toy suggest that the threat of Nibiru was hidden in plain sight fro centuries.Based on the works of self-proclaimed ancient language scholar Zecharia Sitchin, Nibiru was widely known to the ancient Sumerians – an advanced civilisation that thrived until the Middle Bronze Age.According to the Russian-American author of The 12th Planet, Nibiru orbits the sun every 3,600 years – a conclusion he drew from the study of Babylonian religious texts.In the ancient Akkadian language of the Sumerians, Nibiru translates into "crossing" or "point of transition".Nibiru is said to be inhabited … [Read more...] about Nibiru end of the world? Did the Sumerians predict the September 23 Planet X apocalypse?
Paranormal researchers believe Hildegard of Bingen, or St Hildegard, who was a Christian mystic and philosopher and lived from 1098 to 1179, predicted the arrival of Nibiru by analysing her work.Nibiru, or Planet X, is an alleged planetary object that supposedly lurks on the edge of our solar system which is heading inwards and will supposedly cause the apocalypse on Earth which will wipe out most of the population.Conspiracy theorists believe its impending arrival, which is predicted for September 23, is causing a spate of global disasters such as Hurricane Irma.This was also allegedly predicted by St Hildegard.She wrote: “The Comet by its tremendous pressure, will force much out of the ocean and flood many countries, causing much want and many plagues. “After the Great Comet, the great nation will be devastated by earthquakes, storms, and great waves of water, causing much want and plagues. “The ocean will also flood many other countries, so that all … [Read more...] about End of the world – Was arrival of Nibiru predicted 1,000 years ago in ancient prophecy?
People often say a city is defined by its inhabitants, so happens when you take the people away? Citybase Apartments has put together an infographic in conjunction with Digitaloft that explores 15 abandoned towns and cities around the world. The infographic includes a short biography for each location, including the reason behind its barrenness. Business Insider used the research to put together a list of 15 eerie abandoned cities around the world that are real-life ghost towns. Including sites that have been evacuated, rendered useless, or were never inhabited in the first place, scroll down to discover some of the spookiest, most deserted places around the globe. Varosha in Cyprus used to be a popular getaway for glamorous stars like Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor in its 1960s heyday. (Reuters) A holiday resort hotel on the coast of Varosha, Cyprus, fallen into disrepair.Wikimedia Commons/Ballantyne108 But when Turkish forces invaded the town in 1974, Varosha's … [Read more...] about 15 eerie abandoned cities around the world that are real-life ghost towns
As a teenager, Michael Cassius McDonald worked the railroad cars. It was the 1850s, Chicago was rapidly growing into a major national transport hub, and for young runaways and street urchins the city’s bustling train carriages offered numerous opportunities for illicit enrichment. McDonald was a “candy butcher”, offering sweets and trinkets to tired passengers. It was only when they got home that most of his customers realised the box they’d bought was near-empty, or its contents fake. With the money he saved, McDonald managed to establish himself in the Chicago underworld and eventually rose to become the most powerful gambling tycoon in town. Alongside wealth and influence came political control: at the height of his reign in the 1870s and 1880s, “King Mike” determined the destinies of virtually every elected representative in Chicago, from local ward committeemen to mayors, senators and governors. “He never held office,” noted writer … [Read more...] about Which are the most corrupt cities in the world?
Early morning and a group of eight river otters in the bay eye us with nonchalant curiosity as we pack the kayaks. As we paddle off into the Pacific, our bows cut through reflections of mountain peaks and impenetrable rainforest. Two dolphin fins slice the mirror. When we round a cape, a west coast fog blurs the horizon and erases the shore, leaving only sea and sky, just as it was before Raven Child, as the Haida myth tells, dropped a black pebble into the ocean and created these 200 islands. Canada map This archipelago, 100km off the coast of British Columbia, has been known by several names: Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaai, or islands at the boundary of the world; then the Queen Charlotte islands in British colonial times; and now, since 2009, Haida Gwaii, islands of the people. The Haida have probably lived there since the end of the last ice age, 11,000 to 13,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest traceable populations in the world. They have thrived here for millennia, shielded by … [Read more...] about Canada’s Haida Gwaii archipelago: kayaking to the edge of the world
When I was a girl in 1980s Isfahan, secret meetings of an underground Protestant church were part of my after-school routine. I would go from standing in a line of schoolgirls in hijabs, half-heartedly chanting the slogans of Iran’s Islamic Republic on the school blacktop, to singing hymns in a basement full of men and bareheaded women, all desperately believing in imminent rescue. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, Christian converts like my mother and her friends persisted in a constant state of danger. At any moment they could be rounded up by the Shia revolutionary guard for apostasy, held for months without charge, perhaps taken to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison to be tortured – burned, beaten, cut, sexually exploited, starved of food and sleep – then executed by firing squad or suffocated in a town square, a crane lifting them slowly as they hung by the neck. One beloved preacher in Tehran was shot in the street. Every few days, we would listen … [Read more...] about Yearning for the end of the world
IF you're desperate to book a memorable summer getaway, but stuck for inspiration, then you're in luck. London-based travel agency Exsus has compiled an incredible collection featuring some of the most unusual places to stay on the planet. And these luxurious destinations are as memorable as they come, promising a great night's sleep in some of the world's most incredible settings. From an underwater hotel room to a stunning glass pod atop a rocky cliff, these are the pick of the bunch, as far as unforgettable getaways are concerned. Africa's first underwater hotel room offers the chance to sleep in a cosy suite surrounded by vibrant sea life. The glass-walled room, set three metres below the ocean's surface, is the perfect place to get some kip after a day of sunbathing and stargazing on the top deck. These stylish treehouses are perched in a lush wood on New Zealand's coastline, offering views of the ocean from one direction and views of mountains … [Read more...] about These are nine of the world’s most unique holiday destinations
The definitive moment of the “new Toronto” took place, somewhat inevitably, in New York. On the TV variety show Saturday Night Live in May, Toronto’s hip-hop icon Drake played a gameshow contestant named Jared – a cheerful goof with dreadlocks and a red check shirt with a slight Caribbean lilt. The skit, called Black Jeopardy, was a take on the long-running game show Jeopardy, using a series of African American cliches: uncles who wear long suits to church, the cost of hair weaves, the popularity of Tyler Perry movies, and so on. In this matrix of stereotype, however, Jared didn’t quite fit. To the answer: “This comedian was crazy in the 80s with his Raw and Delirious routines,” (clearly indicating the question: “Who is Eddie Murphy?”) Jared instead asked, to the perplexity of all: “Who is Rick Moranis?” When they also didn’t know hockey legend Jaromir Jagr, Jared was stunned: “The man won the Art Ross … [Read more...] about Welcome to the new Toronto: the most fascinatingly boring city in the world
Not long ago, so South Korea residents of 15 or more years tell me, taking a bike to the streets of Seoul would have indicated a death wish. But then somehow, in less time than it took to rise from dire poverty amid the wreckage of war to the kind of envy-of-Asia wealth it enjoys today, the country became surprisingly bikeable. I still don’t feel half as comfortable riding the streets of Seoul as I do those of bicycle-loving Copenhagen, or even bicycle-tolerating London, but nor do I fear for my life on them. Then again, given the behaviour of the drivers here, perhaps I should. In many respects, South Korea’s cities feel so distinctive because everyday Koreans don’t observe the letter of law as rigidly as their counterparts in other developed countries – certainly not, when it comes to traffic, with the fearful near-piety of Americans. Hence the Korean tendency to take red lights as more ‘cautionary suggestion’ than ‘implacable … [Read more...] about From Seoul to Changwon, in search of the world’s best bike-share scheme
Definitions of cleanliness can, of course, be very different across the world. I’ve seen people spitting on pristine streets in China, and broken pots left to decay neatly by the roadside in Africa. Monaco provides dispensers with free bags for cleaning up after your dog, but some visitors are surprised to see the used bags just lying in the gutter. This however is the Monegasque way: they must wait there until collection. According to the 2014 Mercer Global Financial list of the world’s cleanest cities, Calgary, Canada’s oil capital was top of the cleanliness pile, followed by Adelaide, Honolulu, Minneapolis and Kobe. To anyone who travels much to Europe, it might seem odd there’s not a single Swiss city in the top 10. Ultra-calm Zurich has been Mercer’s second-best city for quality of life for years (Calgary comes in a lowly 33rd in the life stakes) but it figures nowhere on the cleanliness list. The Mercer study is based on five hygiene-based factors: … [Read more...] about Which is the cleanest city in the world?
Anyone who has ever tried to make their way through the centre of Amsterdam in a car knows it: the city is owned by cyclists. They hurry in swarms through the streets, unbothered by traffic rules, taking precedence whenever they want, rendering motorists powerless by their sheer numbers. Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport. It’s not only Amsterdam which boasts a network of cycle-paths, of course; you’ll find them in all Dutch cities. The Dutch take this for granted; they even tend to believe these cycle-paths have existed since the beginning of time. But that is certainly not the case. There was a time, in the 1950s and 60s, when cyclists were under severe threat of being expelled from Dutch cities by the growing number of cars. Only thanks to fierce … [Read more...] about How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world
A ROUND of drinks in Paris is more expensive than any other city on Earth, research shows. A beer, coffee, bottle of water and Coke cost an average of £13.68 in the French capital. Dubai, New York and Hong Kong are the next priciest, with travellers to the Middle East’s largest city shelling out £8.78 for a beer alone. The research, carried out by ethical coffee brand Honest Coffees, ranked some of the world’s most prestigious cities, with London coming in 11th most expensive overall. Thrifty travellers should for South Africa, with Cape Town coming in at less than £5 for all four drinks and Cairo the best value at a measly £3.92. India is another great option for canny globetrotters – with bottles of water and coke costing just a few pence in the likes of New Delhi and Mumbai. Sterling will also go further in South and Central America, with prices in Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Mexico City all dwarfed by those in London. Perhaps surprisingly, a cup … [Read more...] about Paris is officially the most expensive city in the world to buy a round of drinks
Queensland will have a 2,000km network of electric vehicle charging stations that make up one of the world’s longest electric vehicle highways within six months. The state government announced on Thursday it would build an 18-station network stretching along Queensland’s east coast from Cairns to Coolangatta and west to Toowoomba. The stations, which recharge a vehicle in 30 minutes, will offer free power for at least a year in what the environment minister, Steven Miles, said was a bid to boost the number of electric cars on Queensland roads, currently about 700. Electric cars: everything you need to know Read more “This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low-emissions future,” Miles said. Map of charging stations The $3m network had “the potential to revolutionise the way we travel around Queensland in the future”, he … [Read more...] about Queensland to build one of the world’s longest electric vehicle highways
The Japanese have a reputation for being the most easily embarrassed nation on earth. I confirmed this to be true when I became the cause of embarrassment during dinner on my first night in Tokyo. Eager to make polite conversation, I asked how preparations were going for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, assuming that as a native of a recent host city, we'd find common ground. Yet every Japanese face around the table either blushed or cringed. Surely, this proudly competent, efficient nation couldn't be behind on its stadium-building? "Oh no! Everything will be on time," I was told matter-of-factly. "But when Shinzo Abe came out of the pipe dressed as Mario - I mean, it's 2017; is Nintendo and Pokemon still all Japan has to offer?" I reassured my dining partners that every Brit I know loved seeing their Prime Minister getting into Gameboy gear for the closing ceremony in Rio - but that just seemed to make the blushing worse. The conversation exposed a gulf between the country … [Read more...] about A gourmet guide to the most Michelin-starred city in the world
Borough Market in London.Alex Segre/Shutterstock The INSIDER Summary: TripAdvisor launched a Check-Index to see where travelers and locals spend their time in cities around the world. Tourists often visit museums and monuments, while locals frequent farmers markets and shopping centers. Both groups enjoy Chicago's Magnificent Mile, New York City's Madison Square Garden, and Berlin's Alexanderplatz. Some travelers consider it a badge of honor to be mistaken for locals in a new city, and try to avoid crowds and clichés by seeking out lesser-known favorites. Others have the confidence to tout selfie sticks and rock their fanny packs without shame as they flock to famous sites. If you're looking for a happy medium, TripAdvisor launched a mobile Check-Index to see where both travelers and locals spend the most time in cities around the world - and if those locations overlap. Here are the most popular tourist sites and local spots in 11 cities around the world. Locals prefer the … [Read more...] about Heres where tourists spend the most time in 11 cities around the world – and where locals go instead
LONDON: Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city to live in, a study showed on Tuesday, with two Japanese cities — Tokyo and Osaka — returning to the top 10 thanks to the strengthening of the yen. Almaty in Kazakhstan was the least expensive, followed by Lagos in recession-hit Nigeria. Only one US city, New York, made the top 10 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s twice-yearly “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey. It came in ninth, dropping two places on a slightly weaker dollar but still far higher than its No. 46 slot just five years ago. ‘Pakistan will soon be among top tourist destinations of the world’ Los Angeles, in 11th place, just missed the top tier. Europe was represented in the top 10 by four cities — Zurich at three, Geneva and Paris at seventh equal, and Copenhagen tied with New York at nine. The study bases its calculation on the price of at least 160 products and services including food, drink, clothing, … [Read more...] about Karachi among least expensive cities of the world