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Thousands expected for Berlin Wall anniversary
Berlin, Oct 18 (Agencies):
Published on 18 Oct. 2009 10:44 PM IST
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Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected in Berlin on November 9 to join in celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.There have been many events in Germany this year commemorating the anniversary but Berlin's Festival of Freedom promises to be the big one. The culmination of the celebrations will be a domino display set up on a section of the wall that will be fired off in the evening. Symbolically, the last one will topple at the Brandenburg Gate. The city of Potsdam is celebrating the opening of Cecilienhof House to the public for the first time. The house was the site of the 1945 Potsdam Conference, where representatives from the US, Soviet Union and Britain met to decide on punishment for the defeated Germans. The opening of a new viewing platform at Uluru is welcome for those who like to keep their icons in sight and their distance from others. Uluru is best contemplated without being jostled and the new platform, named Talinguru Nyakunytjaku – meaning place to look from the sand dune – can accommodate 3000. The old platform had a capacity of 1200. As well as providing an all-encompassing view of Uluru's south-eastern face, you can see the domes of Kata Tjuta from the new platform, part of a $21 million Parks Australia project to safeguard the site and enhance the visitor experience at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Access to the platform is along a new 11-kilometre road and other additions include 1600 metres of walking tracks, a car park for 160 cars and 44 buses, traditional shade shelters and interpretative signage explaining the landscape and Aboriginal culture. Talinguru Nyakunytjaku is the first major infrastructure in the national park since since the Cultural Centre was opened in 1995. The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast was set up in 1947 by beekeeper and flower grower Alex Griffiths, who began feeding the region's lorikeets to prevent them from ruining the plants and trees in his garden. Today, lorikeets are just one of hundreds of wildlife species on display in the 20-hectare park. Despite all the whiz-bang attractions that have sprung up on the Gold Coast, the sanctuary remains one of Queensland's most popular attractions with more than 500,000 visitors annually. It is run by the National Trust and revenue is reinvested into conservation-based research, public education and the care of more than 4500 sick, injured or orphaned animals in the sanctuary's hospital each year. The hospital, which has undergone a substantial upgrade, is now open to the public via a VIP Behind The Scenes 90-minute tour. Talking of whiz-bang attractions on the Gold Coast, there's been a changing of the guard at the Australian Outback Spectacular. A new show, Heroes of the Light Horse – based on the story of the charge at Beersheba in Palestine during World War I – has been introduced at the 1000-seat auditorium. For the uninitiated, the Australian Outback Spectacular is one of the Warner Village Theme Parks attractions. It was built to give visitors to the “worlds” operated by the company (Sea World, Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Water World) something to do at night. The first show, a rowdy homage to the legend of the Aussie stockman with lots of cracking whips, galloping horses, stories, poetry and jokes set to music and lights, was seen by more than 1 million people since opening three years ago. The new show, directed by Simon Wincer, who also produced and directed the movie The Lighthorseman, is in a similar vein. The Heroes of the Light Horse is performed from Tuesday to Saturday. Adults $99.50, including a barbecue dinner, drinks and a stockman's hat. Children (aged 3-13) $69.50.

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