Wine Roads in Tuscany

Winding through the Tuscan hills, the wine roads offer travel itineraries within remarkable viticulture areas which are characterized by vineyards and wine cellars and also by landscape, historical attractions in a frame where all kinds of comfort is offered to welcome tourists.

Winding through the Tuscan hills, the wine roads offer travel itineraries within remarkable viticulture areas which are characterized by vineyards and wine cellars and also by landscape, historical attractions in a frame where all kinds of comfort is offered to welcome tourists.

Along the wine road signs point out clearly places for lodging, especially farm holidays. Information services are available all over an area where vineyard control is guaranteed by strict quality standards.

Any time of the year is suitable to participate in these itineraries, whose beauty reveals itself in various ways at any change of season.

The approach to wine is not only characterized by the simple act of tasting it, but it goes along with visits to vineyards, tastes of typical dishes and attendance to cultural events.

Tuscany is the first region, among all the others in Italy, which has promoted the realization of these itineraries.

Tuscany, which is well-know for its extensive and fascinating landscape, is as well as famous all over the world for its good quality wines and the special taste of its gastronomy.

Along the wine road itinerary in the Tuscan region, and even beyond the beaten tracks, a full patrimony of culture and popular knowledge is offered to those who really want to appreciate the high value of discovering tastes and emotions in relation to wine and all life’s aspects associated with it.

Along the road wine in the Pisan Hills is created a new project named La Mia Toscana (My Tuscany http://www.lamiatoscana.info ), that offers tourists solutions in fascinating itineraries. You can choose from the wine and gastronomic itineraries (Tuscan cooking classes, wine tasting and tasting of other typical products, escorted gastronomic excursions), to trekking itineraries (escorted excursions on the Tuscan hills, by foot, on mountain bike, horse-riding), cultural itineraries (escorted excursions in the discovery of medieval villages, castles and handicraft products, Italian language lessons) up to relax and comfort itineraries (with treatments at the Thermal baths) and to golfing (in combination with culture, gastronomy and art).

Asia Travel: China’s Qinghai-Tibet Railroad Touches the Skies

An estimated 90 per cent of tourists would use the railroad to reach Lhasa, Tibet. It is an unique ground expedition across clear cascading streams, spectacular mountain ranges, and the colorful landscapes almost untouched by modern civilization. It would be the dream of urban travelers to experience nature with such a panoramic vision, indulging and rejuvenating for a true getaway from the hectic city-life.

Tibetan mountain ranges and landscapes are home to an immense diversity of species of rare plants and birds. Tibetan forests are also famous for its tremendous spectrum of herbs for Chinese medicines. But due to the freezing temperatures and geographical altitudes, China’s tourist access to Tibet region has been very limited until recently. On July 1, 2006 Qinghai-Tibet Railroad commenced its passenger service, marking a remarkable milestone in China’s infrastructure building. This opens up a way for adventurous tourists to travel from Beijing to the remote Tibet by train with a low budget.

An estimated 90% of tourists would use the railroad to reach Lhasa, Tibet. It is an unique ground expedition across clear cascading streams, spectacular mountain ranges, and the colorful landscapes almost untouched by modern civilization. It would be the dream of urban travelers to experience nature with such a panoramic vision, indulging and rejuvenating for a true getaway from the hectic city-life.

A Centennial Dream Comes True

From its initial conception in the early 1950s, the construction of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad went through a lengthy 50 years to build. The first section of 814 km, from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Golmud began operation in 1984. The Golmud-Lhasa section commenced construction in June 2001. On July 1, 2006, the 1,956-Km Qinghai-Tibet Railroad started its full-length operation. Its 2 inaugural trains, “Qing 1” and “Tibet 2”, started service from Golmud and Lhasa separately. China President Hu Jintao labeled the project as an unbelievable achievement both in China and the World’s railway construction. This completed mission also realized a centennial dream of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the pioneer of China’s democratic revolution.

The Physical Deterrents

Geographical conditions from Golmod to Lhasa are especially harsh. Perennial icy soil as hard as steel, thick blankets of Winter snow and the high altitudes deterred and slowed down project progress through the many years of site execution. An American, Paul Theroux, prophesized that Kunlun Range was a definite impossible geographical barrier for railroad to get to Lhasa. But the inauguration of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad, now the world’s highest railroad terminating in Lhasa, has proven Theroux’s prophesy untrue.

Key Facts of Qinghai-Tibet Railroad

– Qinghai-Tibet Railroad is the world’s highest.

– 960 kms of its tracks are located 4,000 m above sea level.

– The highest point is 5,072 m above sea level or 200 meters higher than the 2nd highest Peruvian railroad in the Andes.

l- 550 kms of the route run on frozen soil

– Tanggula Railway Station is the highest railway station in the world (5,068m above sea level)

– Fenghuoshan Tunnel is the world’s highest tunnel on frozen soil (4,905 m above sea level)

– It is the world’s longest plateau railroad, extending 1,956 kms from Xining, Qinghai to Lhasa, Tibet.

– The Golmud-Lhasa section zigzags 1,142 kms across the Tanggula and Kunlun Ranges.

– Kunlun Mountain Tunnel is the world’s longest plateau tunnel built on frozen soil(1,686 m)

– The maximum design train speeds are 100 km/h in frozen zones and 120 km/h on non-frozen areas.

Environmental Friendly

Chinese authority responded to international call for environmental friendly and sustainable development. 8% of the total development cost was set aside for conservation of environment. Recommendations by the Academy of Environment Protection were taken seriously by the Chinese government before construction. Qinghai-Tibet Railroad was credited with the honor of being the first environmental friendly railroad in the world.

Train Schedule for Tibet

Tourists can join in this rail route from several different cities in China:

1. Western Beijing Train Station to Lhasa, the whole journey is 4,064Km and takes 47 hours and 28 minutes. The ticket fee is RMB389 (USD48) for a hard seat, RMB813 (USD102) for a hard sleeper and RMB1262 (USD160) for a soft sleeper. It leaves Beijing at 21:30 every night and arrives in Lhasa at 20:58 on the third day. Another train leaves Lhasa for Beijing at 8:00 each morning and arrives in Beijing at 8:00 the third day, via Xian, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku.

2. Chengdu Train Station to Lhasa, the whole journey is 3,360km. The ticket fee is RMB331 for a hard seat, RMB712 for a hard sleeper and RMB1104 (USD140) for a soft sleeper. It leaves Chengdu at 18:18 on the odd days and arrives in Lhasa at 18:28 on the third day. It leaves Lhasa for Chengdu at 9:05 and arrives in Chengdu at 9:55 the third day, Via Guangyuan, Baoji, Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku

3. Chongqing Train Station to Lhasa. The whole journey is 3,654Km The ticket fee is RMB355 for a hard seat, RMB754 for a hard sleeper and RMB1168 for a soft sleeper. It leaves Chongqing at 19:20 on the even days and arrives in Lhasa at 18:28 on the third day. It leaves Lhasa for Chongqing at 09:05 and arrives in Chongqing at 09:55 the third day, Via Guangan, Dazhou, Xian, Baoji,Lanzhou, Xining, Golmod and Nacku.

Preparing for the cold temperatures, Travelers to Tibet are advised to bring Winter clothing like ski jackets, winter coats and thermal under-wears.