Tuesday, 17 July 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #140 - JAIPUR, INDIA

“Resplendent in the hues of its noble and magnificent past, the historic city of Jaipur stands out as one of the most spectacular and culturally vibrant destinations in the world.” - Kate Smith 

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Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city is named.

The city today has a population of 3.1 million. Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India. The city is unusual among pre-modern Indian cities in the regularity of its streets, and the division of the city into six sectors by broad streets 34 m wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east.

The Palace quarter encloses the Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites. Included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an extremely popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #139 - CAGLIARI, ITALY

“Life in Sardinia is probably the best a man can wish: Twenty-four-thousand kilometers of forests, countryside, shores immersed in a miraculous sea, this corresponds to what I would suggest God to give us as Paradise.” - Fabrizio De Andrè

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

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Cagliari is an Italian municipality and the capital of the island of Sardinia, an autonomous region of Italy. Cagliari’s Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 150,000 inhabitants, while its metropolitan city (including Cagliari and 16 other nearby municipalities) has more than 431,000 inhabitants. According to Eurostat, the population of the Functional urban area, the commuting zone of Cagliari, rises to 476,974. Cagliari is the 26th largest city in Italy and the largest city on the island of Sardinia.

An ancient city with a long history, Cagliari has seen the rule of several civilisations. Under the buildings of the modern city there is a continuous stratification attesting to human settlement over the course of some five thousand years, from the Neolithic to today. Historical sites include the prehistoric Domus de Janas, very damaged by cave activity, a large Carthaginian era necropolis, a Roman era amphitheatre, a Byzantine basilica, three Pisan-era towers and a strong system of fortification that made the town the core of Spanish Habsburg imperial power in the western Mediterranean Sea.

Its natural resources have always been its sheltered harbour, the often powerfully fortified hill of Castel di Castro, the modern Casteddu, the salt from its lagoons, and, from the hinterland, wheat from the Campidano plain and silver and other ores from the Iglesiente mines. Cagliari was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1324 to 1848, when Turin became the formal capital of the kingdom (which in 1861 became the Kingdom of Italy).

Today the city is a regional cultural, educational, political and artistic centre, known for its diverse Art Nouveau architecture and several monuments. It is also Sardinia’s economic and industrial hub, having one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean Sea, an international airport, and the 106th highest income level in Italy (among 8,092 comuni), comparable to that of several northern Italian cities. It is also the seat of the University of Cagliari, founded in 1607, and of the Primate Roman Catholic archdiocese of Sardinia, since the 5th century AD.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #138 - MURRAY RIVER, AUSTRALIA

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” - Heraclitus  

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The Murray River (Ngarrindjeri: Millewa, Yorta Yorta: Tongala) is Australia’s longest river, at 2,508 kilometres in length. The Murray rises in the Australian Alps, draining the western side of Australia’s highest mountains, and then meanders across Australia’s inland plains, forming the border between the states of New South Wales and Victoria as it flows to the northwest into South Australia. It turns south at Morgan for its final 315 kilometres, reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina. 

The water of the Murray flows through several terminal lakes that fluctuate in salinity (and were often fresh until recent decades) including Lake Alexandrina and The Coorong before emptying through the Murray Mouth into the southeastern portion of the Indian Ocean, often referenced on Australian maps as the Southern Ocean, near Goolwa. Despite discharging considerable volumes of water at times, particularly before the advent of large-scale river regulation, the mouth has always been comparatively small and shallow.As of 2010, the Murray River system receives 58 percent of its natural flow. It is perhaps Australia’s most important irrigated region, and it is widely known as the food bowl of the nation.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #137 - CAPRI, ITALY

“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” - Samuel Johnson

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Capri is an island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri that is located on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic. Some of the main features of the island include the following: The Marina Piccola (the little harbour), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the Faraglioni –see picture above), the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

Capri is part of the region of Campania, Metropolitan City of Naples. The town of Capri is a comune and the island's main population centre. The island has two harbours, Marina Piccola and Marina Grande (the main port of the island). The separate comune of Anacapri is located high on the hills to the west. The island combines wild beauty, scenic views, cultural and archaeological treasures, cosmopolitan lifestyle, wonderful food and drink and hospitable people.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #136 - KIEV, UKRAINE

“A friendly word is better than a heavy cake.” – Ukrainian Proverb 

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Kiev (Ukrainian: Київ) is the capital and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974 (though higher estimated numbers have been cited in the press), making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe. Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.

The city’s name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders. During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until seized by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state.

Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland and Russia. The city prospered again during the Russian Empire’s Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. In 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, Kiev became its capital.

From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was proclaimed by the Red Army, and, from 1934, Kiev was its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian independence in 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine and experienced a steady migration influx of ethnic Ukrainians from other regions of the country.

During the country’s transformation to a market economy and electoral democracy, Kiev has continued to be Ukraine’s largest and richest city. Kiev’s armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, adversely affecting science and technology. But new sectors of the economy such as services and finance facilitated Kiev’s growth in salaries and investment, as well as providing continuous funding for the development of housing and urban infrastructure. Kiev emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine where parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #135 - ALHAMBRA, SPAIN

“Perhaps there never was a monument more characteristic of an age and people than the Alhambra; a rugged fortress without, a voluptuous palace within; war frowning from its battlements; poetry breathing throughout the fairy architecture of its halls.” - Washington Irving 

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The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications, and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Nasrid emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.

After the conclusion of the Christian Reconquista in 1492, the site became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella (where Christopher Columbus received royal endorsement for his expedition), and the palaces were partially altered in the Renaissance style. In 1526 Charles I & V commissioned a new Renaissance palace better befitting the Holy Roman Emperor in the revolutionary Mannerist style influenced by Humanist philosophy in direct juxtaposition with the Nasrid Andalusian architecture, but it was ultimately never completed due to Morisco rebellions in Granada.

Alhambra’s last flowering of Islamic palaces were built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain during the decline of the Nasrid dynasty, who were increasingly subject to the Christian Kings of Castile. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the buildings occupied by squatters, Alhambra was rediscovered following the defeat of Napoleon, who had conducted retaliatory destruction of the site. The rediscoverers were first British intellectuals and then other north European Romantic travelers. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well-known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #134 - 12 APOSTLES

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” - Aristotle 

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The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I.

It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles rock formations. The Twelve Apostles is a collection of miocene limestone rock stacks jutting from the water in Port Campbell National Park, between Princetown and Peterborough on the Great Ocean Road.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #133 - EXTERNSTEINE, GERMANY

“We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do.” - Margaret MacMillan 

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The Externsteine is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg in the Lippe district of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site’s use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of Nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #132 - ESPERANCE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

“To escape and sit quietly on the beach – that’s my idea of paradise.” - Emilia Wickstead 

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Esperance is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately 720 kilometres east-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The urban population of Esperance was over 10,000 as at the 2016 Census. Its major industries are tourism, agriculture, and fishing. The Shire of Esperance is home to 13,477 people.

Near the town itself are numerous beaches, offering surfing, scuba diving, and swimming. Also nearby are a number of salt lakes, including Pink Lake, which gains its rosy hue from red algae living within its waters. Esperance is also home to the Cyclops wave, said to be the world's heaviest wave with massive amounts of water unloading on shallow reef. Cyclops is featured in the surfing films Billabong Odyssey, and the Bra Boys documentary.

There are five major national parks near the town. A major nearby tourist attraction, 20 minutes away from the town centre, is the Cape Le Grand National Park, which offers a picturesque coast of largely granite terrain and sheltered white sand beaches. The park is a popular spot for recreational fishing, as well as four wheel drive enthusiasts and hikers. 

Esperance also has a number of wind turbines supplying electricity to the town. Esperance had the first electrical wind farm in Australia, built at Salmon Beach as a research facility in 1987.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

MUSIC SATURDAY - SALIERI PIANO CONCERTO IN C

“The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides.”― Artur Schnabel 

Antonio Salieri (18 August 1750 – 7 May 1825) was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born in Legnago, south of Verona, in the Republic of Venice, and spent his adult life and career as a subject of the Habsburg Monarchy. Salieri was a pivotal figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. As a student of Florian Leopold Gassmann, and a protégé of Gluck, Salieri was a cosmopolitan composer who wrote operas in three languages. Salieri helped to develop and shape many of the features of operatic compositional vocabulary, and his music was a powerful influence on contemporary composers.

Appointed the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court, a post he held from 1774 until 1792, Salieri dominated Italian-language opera in Vienna. During his career he also spent time writing works for opera houses in Paris, Rome, and Venice, and his dramatic works were widely performed throughout Europe during his lifetime. As the Austrian imperial Kapellmeister from 1788 to 1824, he was responsible for music at the court chapel and attached school.

Even as his works dropped from performance, and he wrote no new operas after 1804, he still remained one of the most important and sought-after teachers of his generation, and his influence was felt in every aspect of Vienna’s musical life. Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, and Ludwig van Beethoven were among the most famous of his pupils. Salieri’s music slowly disappeared from the repertoire between 1800 and 1868 and was rarely heard after that period until the revival of his fame in the late 20th century.

This revival was due to the dramatic and highly fictionalised depiction of Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus” (1979) and its 1984 film version. His music today has regained some modest popularity via recordings. He is popularly remembered as a supposedly bitter rival of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This includes rumours that Salieri murdered Mozart out of jealousy, when in reality, they were at least respectful peers.

Here is his Piano Concerto in C (1773) performed by Pietro Spada and the Philharmonia Orchestra:
1.Allegro maestoso 00:00
2.Larghetto 08:54
3.Andantino (Rondo) 16:12

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #131 - MADRID, SPAIN

“God worked six days, and rested on the seventh: Madrileños rest the six, and on the seventh... go to the bullfight.” - H O’Shea 

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

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The Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid, Spain. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcalá (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name. It is currently delimited by four prominent buildings: The Bank of Spain, the Palacio de Buenavista, the Palacio de Linares and the Cybele Palace.

These constructions are located in four different neighbourhoods from three different adjacent districts: Centro, Retiro and Salamanca. In the years Cybele Palace and her fountain have become symbolic monuments of the city. The Fountain of Cybele is found in the part of Madrid commonly called the Paseo de Recoletos. This fountain is named after Cybele, a Phrygian goddess who had a significant cult in Rome, and is seen as one of Madrid’s most important symbols.

The fountain depicts the goddess, sitting on a chariot pulled by two lions. The fountain was built in the reign of Charles III and designed by Ventura Rodríguez between 1777 and 1782. The goddess and chariot are the work of Francisco Gutiérrez and the lions by Roberto Michel. The fountain originally stood next to the Buenavista Palace, and was moved to its present location in the middle of the square in the late 19th century. Up until the 19th century both the fountain of Neptune and Cybele looked directly at each other, until the city council decided to turn them round to face towards the centre of the city.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,

and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #130 - ERMOUPOLI, GREECE

“The centre of Western culture is Greece, and we have never lost our ties with the architectural concepts of that ancient civilisation.” - Stephen Gardiner 

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Ermoupoli (Greek: Ερμούπολη), also known by the formal older name Ermoupolis or Hermoupolis (Greek: Ἑρμούπολις < Ἑρμοῦ πόλις “Town of Hermes”), is a town and former municipality on the island of Syros, in the Cyclades, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Syros-Ermoupoli, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is also the capital of the South Aegean region. The municipal unit has an area of 11.181 km2.

Ermoupoli was founded during the Greek Revolution in the 1820s, as an extension to the existing Ano Syros township, by war refugees from other Greek islands. It soon became the leading commercial and industrial centre of Greece, as well as its main port. The renowned Greek Steamship Company was founded in the city in 1856. Thousands of ships were built in the various Syros shipyards. Eventually Ermoupoli was eclipsed by Piraeus in the late 19th century. In the following decades the city declined. Recently, its economy has greatly improved, based on the service industry.

Ermoupoli is sited on a naturally amphitheatrical site, with neo-classical buildings, old mansions and traditional island houses cascading down to the harbour. The City Hall, on Miaoulis Square is ringed by cafes and seating areas under palm trees. The “City of Hermes” has numerous churches, including Metamorphosis, Koimisis, St. Demetrius, Three Hierarchs, Anastasis, Evangelistria and St. Nicholas. The Archaeological Museum has many significant exhibits and the Municipal Library contains numerous books, including some rare editions. The quarter of the town known as Vaporia is where the sea captains lived. Along its narrow streets, stand many neo-classical mansions of rich and significant architecture.

Ano Syros is the second town of Syros and was built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 13th century on the hill of San Giorgio, north-west of Ermoupoli. Ano Syros maintains a medieval atmosphere. Innumerable steps between narrow streets and houses with brightly coloured doors lead to the top of the town. The medieval settlement of Ano Syros is accessible by car, although the town is served mostly by marble steps. The distance from the harbour up to the main entry point of the town is approximately 1000 metres. The Catholic cathedral of Saint George dominates Ano Syros. The cathedral church was constructed during the 13th century. From the cathedral visitors have a panoramic view of the neighbouring islands of Tinos, Delos, Mykonos, Paros, Andros and Naxos.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY #129 - NIUE, OCEANIA

“The Pacific is my home ocean; I knew it first, grew up on its shore, collected marine animals along the coast. I know its moods, its color, its nature.” ― John Steinbeck 

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

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Niue (/ˈnjuːeɪ/ NEW-ay; Niuean: Niuē) is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, and west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 261 square kilometres and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was about 1,600 in 2016. The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name “Rock of Polynesia”.

Niue is one of the world’s largest coral islands. The terrain consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 metres above sea level. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to Alofi. A notable feature are the many limestone caves near the coast.

Niue, whose capital is the village of Alofi, is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand; and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations (though not all) on its behalf. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. Between 90–95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language.

A bilingual country, Niue has over 30% of its population speak both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers. Niue is not a member of the United Nations (UN), but UN organisations have accepted its status as a freely-associated state as equivalent to independence for the purposes of international law. As such, Niue is a full member of some UN specialised agencies (such as UNESCO, and the WHO), and is invited, alongside the other non-UN member state, the Cook Islands, to attend United Nations conferences open to “all states”.

Niue is subdivided into 14 villages (municipalities). Each village has a village council that elects its chairman. The villages are at the same time electoral districts; each village sends an assemblyman to the Parliament of Niue. A small and highly democratic nation, Niueans enjoy high freedom, and elections are held every 3 years. In 2003, Niue became the first country in the world to provide state-funded wireless internet to all inhabitants.

Niue Island Organic Farmers Association is currently paving way to a Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) committed to making Niue the world’s first fully organic nation by 2020. A leader in green growth, Niue is also transitioning to solar power, with help from the European Union. Niue aims to become 80% renewable by 2025. On the other hand, Niue currently deals with one of the highest rates of greenhouse gas production per capita in the world (second only to Kuwait and Brunei).

In 2015, Niue started providing phone landlines to all of its inhabitants. In 2008, Niue became the first country in the world where laptops are provided to all school students. In January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the entire island, including wiping out most of the south of the capital, Alofi. The disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the Niue Integrated Strategic Plan (NISP), since national efforts concentrated on recovery. In 2008, Niue had yet to fully recover.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

MUSIC SATURDAY - ARNOLD BAX

“The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead.” - Igor Stravinsky 

Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax KCVO (8 November 1883 – 3 October 1953) was an English composer, poet, and author. His prolific output includes songs, choral music, chamber pieces, and solo piano works, but he is best known for his orchestral music. In addition to a series of symphonic poems he wrote seven symphonies and was for a time widely regarded as the leading British symphonist.

Bax was born in the London suburb of Streatham to a prosperous family. He was encouraged by his parents to pursue a career in music, and his private income enabled him to follow his own path as a composer without regard for fashion or orthodoxy. Consequently, he came to be regarded in musical circles as an important but isolated figure. While still a student at the Royal Academy of Music Bax became fascinated with Ireland and Celtic culture, which became a strong influence on his early development. In the years before the First World War he lived in Ireland and became a member of Dublin literary circles, writing fiction and verse under the pseudonym Dermot O'Byrne. Later, he developed an affinity with Nordic culture, which for a time superseded his Celtic influences in the years after the First World War.

Between 1910 and 1920 Bax wrote a large amount of music, including the symphonic poem Tintagel, his best-known work. During this period he formed a lifelong association with the pianist Harriet Cohen – at first an affair, then a friendship, and always a close professional relationship. In the 1920s he began the series of seven symphonies, which form the heart of his orchestral output. In 1942 Bax was appointed Master of the King's Music, but composed little in that capacity.

In his last years he found his music regarded as old-fashioned, and after his death it was generally neglected. From the 1960s onwards, mainly through a growing number of commercial recordings, his music was gradually rediscovered, although little of it is heard with any frequency in the concert hall. In more recent years, Bax’s music has been (re-)discovered enthusiastically by a new generation via online distribution services such as YouTube.

Here is his Quintet for Oboe & Strings performed by the Camerata Pacifica (Nicholas Daniel, Catherine Leonard, Ara Gregorian, Richard O'Neill & Ani Aznavoorian). Bax composed the Quintet for Oboe and Strings in the closing months of 1922, on the heels of his First Symphony. At the time, a piece for such forces was unusual; surely, Bax was inspired to write the Oboe Quintet by the playing of the famous oboist, Louis Goossens, to whom the composer dedicated the piece. This was quite an honour for the young Goossens.
1. Tempo molto moderato - Allegro moderato - Tempo primo
2. Lento espressivo
3. Allegro giocoso - Più lento - Vivace

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

TRAVEL TUESDAY - MELBOURNE ANZAC

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” - Pericles

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The Shrine of Remembrance is Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial and is probably Melbourne’s most recognised landmark. It is a permanent and lasting memorial to the ANZAC spirit and acknowledges those who served and those who died in the Great War of 1914-1918 and armed conflicts and peacekeeping duties since. The Shrine is located on Melbourne’s most famous boulevard, St Kilda Road, just south of the Melbourne central business district.

Designed by architects Phillip Hudson and James Wardrop who were both World War I veterans, the Shrine is in a classical style, being based on the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus and the Parthenon in Athens. Built from Tynong granite, the Shrine originally consisted only of the central sanctuary surrounded by the ambulatory.

The Shrine went through a prolonged process of development, which began in 1918 with the initial proposal to build a Victorian memorial. Two committees were formed, the second of which ran a competition for the memorial’s design. The winner was announced in 1922. However, opposition to the proposal (led by Keith Murdoch and The Herald) forced the governments of the day to rethink the design, and a number of alternatives were proposed, the most significant of which was the ANZAC Square and cenotaph proposal of 1926.

In response, General Sir John Monash used the 1927 ANZAC Day march to garner support for the Shrine, and finally won the support of the Victorian government later that year. The foundation stone was laid on 11 November 1927, and the Shrine was officially dedicated on 11 November 1934.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Originally 25 April every year was to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga.
Lest we forget...

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.