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WATER GATES

Author: 20.08.2016 | oddities, rating
Airports, railway and bus stations are almost always erected at a human whim, while ports and harbours are joint creation of homo sapiens and nature. In this article OUTLOOK presents you the most beautiful port destinations with their own unique character worth exploring.

Capri, Italy

Green hills, blinding white yachts and turquoise waters of the Mediterranean - it's all about the legendary Italian island of Capri and its shipping port. According to official data, it offers the world most expensive mooring: to throw the anchor for a day there will cost a minimum of three to nine thousand euros, depending on the size of the vessel and the time of mooring. It is not surprising since elite restaurants, boutiques and wine cellars are nested just a few dozen meters from the water. Moneyed audiences have always loved and will love Capri, a finest steppingstone for a break during the cruise. Local bustling seafront is not second to red carpet of any film festival judging by the number of celebrities and wealthy people per square meter. Even the "proletarian" author Maxim Gorky got so much mesmerized by this bourgeois Eden, that was in no haste to visit his homeland, where socialist revolution, so highly vaunted by him, won.

Miami Beach, United States

Though America is rather expensive country, opposite to Europe is does not feature so many places which are aristocratic and historic, where it has been a custom to through money for a long time and "bets" always go up. Therefore, the most beautiful port in Florida may seem to be quite cheap in terms of prices, when compared to Cannes, Capri or Monaco: a thousand dollars a day is enough to dock under the sun, and to enjoy oneself in this famous resort. The local "water station" is highly advanced and comfortable, services are just at the highest level. If necessary, your yacht will be repaired and embellished that it would look as good as a new one, while you are having dinner. Unlike steady European approach, everything is arranged quickly and efficiently. But it is also quite expensive.

Saint-Barthélemy, a part of Guadeloupe

The port which is out of habit is called by a word from the past, 'West Indian', on paper is considered a French overseas territory. Especially beautiful it is in long winter evenings, when the lights of lighthouses, ships and restaurants are slightly blurred in the misty landscape, and you willy-nilly feel as an swashbuckling adventurer in terra incognita. In winter, by the way, prices rocket up as influential and rich people of the world, such as, for instance, Roman Abramovich, sail to Saint-Barthélemy on the eve of New Year holidays. To find a space for your yacht, you should stand in queue for 9-10 months prior to arrival. Its worth is unknown because such pricing is not widely discussed, but for sure it is not cheap. In general, the spot is sufficiently democratic, in low season it costs 500-600 euros per day for one boat.

Shanghai, China

For some people the beauty is yachts, small boats and a relaxing atmosphere of warm resorts, and for some it is scaled picture with tankers, shipyards and other industrial attributes. If you are a fan of these objects, we just cannot help telling you about Shanghai port. For five years, it has been holding first position among the largest ports. At his back, by the way, is breathing another Asian giant – a Singaporean port. Shanghai Harbour is a very real gateway to China. Through it passes the majority of local imports and exports. To astonish you with figures, note that the approximate number of containers that are unloaded/loaded per year is… 32.5 million! Breath out, calm down, and let’s go or, rather, sail further.

Antwerp, Belgium

Local port, of course, is far from supporting turnover of Asian ones, but it also plays a key role in the life of Europe. Moreover, it is one of the largest on the continent, together with Rotterdam and Hamburg. Yet, it is the Belgian port that supports the optimal ratio of beautiful/useful. It welcomes not yachts only, huge industrial ships are among its regular visitors. Antwerp is a perfect location for casting ashore and walking through cosy and modern city with a rich history. Especially interesting it is for art-lovers, because the local port was admired by many Dutch painters who reflected it in their works now exhibited in museums and galleries.

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

This ultra-modern complex has not been completed yet, but it is impressive. They say that when the sheikhs have been entrusted to host one of Formula 1 Grand Prixes, they took seriously a Europeans’ joke that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is still worse than the Monaco Grand Prix, because one cannot come there by yacht as there is no real marina there. Therefore urgently an artificially island of Yas was created, which was built up with skyscrapers, houses, and even Ferrari amusement parks - adults and children are crazy about it. In general, the development of Yas Marina can be monitored in real time and with own eyes one may watch how the landscape is changing.

Symi, Greece

We would like to complete our selection in the Old World, but not with description of a courtly promenade port where the rich and the beautiful come to enjoy themselves. It is better to take a look at the tiny Greek island of Symi, where the hills and the sea keep watch over a small resort village, which have been equipping its port for centuries. It seems that civilization has forgotten about the two and a half thousand of inhabitants, and left them alone with the majestic sea. What can be more pleasing to the eye than a leisurely contemplation of the boats and the sails in the distance when sitting on the waterfront. And if you grab a local wine with some authentic snacks, it may seem that you're in paradise.

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