The Neuschwanstein Castle is located in Bavaria near the town of Fussen and was Walt Disney’s inspiration to create the Magic Kingdom. Neuschwanstein literally means “New Swan Stone” which is a reference to “the Swan Knight”; one of the characters in an opera by the composer Richard Wagner. King Ludwig II began construction of the castle in 1869. Today his fairy tale castle stands as the most visited castle in Germany welcoming more than 1,300,000 tourists per year.
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London though today the name also refers to the clock and the clock tower. The bell weighs almost 14 tons and each clock face is 23 feet in diameter. It became fully operational on September 7th, 1859 and is today one of the most prominent symbols of London standing at 316 feet high. The clock requires winding three times per week and pennies are periodically added or removed from the clock of pendulum to maintain its accuracy.
The Sago Palm Tree (Cycas revolute) is often called a “living fossil” because it is one of the most primitive seed plants alive today. Its origin traces back to ancient flora of the Mesozoic era more than 200 million years ago. It is easily recognizable due to its distinctive whorled feathery leaves.