Tuesday, 28 January 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 220 - JAPAN

“Japan never considers time together as time wasted. Rather, it is time invested.” – Donald Richie

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Japan (Japanese: 日本 Nippon [ɲippoɴ] or Nihon [ɲihoɴ]; formally 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, meaning "State of Japan") is a sovereign island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and China in the southwest. The kanji, or Sino-Japanese characters, that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", and it is often called the "Land of the Rising Sun".

Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and often are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one. The population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98.5% of Japan's total population. About 9.1 million people live in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. 

Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Palaeolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, particularly from Western Europe, has characterised Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, which was ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Ch_sh_ and Satsuma-and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. 

The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation by the SCAP, Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.

Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8 and the G20-and is considered a great power. The country has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the world's fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world, with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.

Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defence and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a very high standard of living and Human Development Index. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern-day technology..

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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 219 - PALM COVE, AUSTRALIA

“All we need, really, is a change from a near frigid to a tropical attitude of mind.” – Marjory Stoneman Douglas 

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Palm Cove is a beach community in Far North Queensland, Australia located 27 kilometres north of the city of Cairns. It is named after the palm trees that line the beach. At the 2006 census, Palm Cove had a population of 1,215.

Palm Cove is located in Far North Queensland on the Australian coast. Arlington Reef is the closest section of The Great Barrier Reef to Palm Cove being around 30 km offshore. The reef shelters the inshore waters from the Coral Sea swells creating relatively calm waters between the reef and the beach. To the west of Palm Cove is the Macalister Range National Park which is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. Since Palm Cove is located in a tropical climate, the average summer temperature is between 24˚C and 33˚C; average winter temperature is between 14˚C and 26˚C.

The major industry for Palm Cove is tourism. Palm Cove is also a tourist destination due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Palm Cove is the location of many world-renowned resorts and hotels such as the Drift Resort, Alamanda, the Mantra Amphora Resort, Peppers Beach Club, and the Reef House. The pristine beaches and Palm tree lined paths are used by joggers, walkers and cyclists and netted life guard patrol swimming enclosures offer safe access to the sea all year round. The Palm cove jetty is one of the regions most popular fishing spots where anglers regularly catch species such as mackerel, Giant Trevally or “G.T's” and shark.

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Tuesday, 14 January 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 218 - QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND

“We all have to remember that New Zealand is built on the kind of people who are rebels and renegades, people doing it their own way, fighting for freedom, and braving the elements. I think it’s cool to celebrate that.” - Taika Waititi 

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Queenstown (Māori: Tāhuna) is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.

Queenstown has an urban population of 13,150 (June 2015 estimate), making it the 29th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the third largest urban area in Otago, behind Dunedin and Oamaru. The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,705 square kilometres not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hāwea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). The region has an estimated resident population of 32,400 (June 2015 estimate). Its neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Kingston, Wanaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill.

Queenstown is now known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism. It is popular with New Zealand, neighbouring Australian and other international travellers alike.

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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 217 - WARSAW, POLAND

“No invader has ever conquered the heart of Poland, that spirit which is the inheritance of sons and daughters, the private passion of families and the ancient, unbreakable tie to all those who came before.” -  James A. Michener 

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Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa), is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly 260 kilometres from the Baltic Sea and 300 kilometres from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population is estimated at 1.711 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 2.666 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 9th most populous capital city in the European Union. The area of the city covers 516.9 square kilometres, while the city’s agglomeration covers 6,100.43 square kilometres.

Warsaw is an Alpha–global city, a major international tourist destination and an important economic hub in East-Central Europe. It is also known as the “phoenix city” because it has survived so many wars throughout its history. Most notably, the city had to be painstakingly rebuilt after the extensive damage it suffered in World War II, during which 85% of its buildings were destroyed. On 9 November 1940 the city was awarded Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari, during the Siege of Warsaw (1939).

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Tuesday, 31 December 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 216 - EIFFEL TOWER, FRANCE

“I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace.” ― Natalie Lloyd 

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The Eiffel Tower (French: tour Eiffel) is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. 

The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015. The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. It was the first structure to reach a height of 300 metres. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct. 

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 215 - VIENNA, AUSTRIA

 
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE CHRISTMAS MARKET OF VIENNA, AUSTRIA!

“The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.” - Karl Kraus

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Vienna (German: Wien) is the capital and largest city of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.8 million (2.6 million within the metropolitan area, nearly one third of Austria's population, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin.

Vienna is host to many major international organisations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Apart from being regarded as the “City of Music” because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be “The City of Dreams” because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, and then the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.

Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver, Canada and San Francisco, USA) for the world’s most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne, Australia. For eight consecutive years (2009–2016), the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world, a title the city still held in 2016. Monocle's 2015 “Quality of Life Survey” ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world “to make a base within.”

The UN-Habitat has classified Vienna as being the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and sixth globally (out of 256 cities) in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analysed 162 indicators in covering three areas: Culture, infrastructure, and markets. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world’s number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 214 - BEIRUT, LEBANON

“Nothing is very constant in Beirut. Certainly not dreams. But despair isn’t constant either. Beirut is a city to be loved and hated a thousand times a day. Every day. It is exhausting, but it is also beautiful.” ― Nasri Atallah 

Beirut (Arabic: بيروت‎ Bayrūt, French: Beyrouth) is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. No recent population census has been done but 2007 estimates ranged from slightly more than 1 million to 2.2 million as part of Greater Beirut. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast, Beirut is the country’s largest and main seaport. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited more than 5,000 years ago. The first historical mention of Beirut is found in the ancient Egyptian Tell el Amarna letters dating from the 15th century BC.

Beirut River runs south to north on the eastern edge of the city. Beirut is Lebanon’s seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy, with most banks and corporations based in its Central District, Badaro, Rue Verdun, Hamra, Ryad el Soloh street, and Ashrafieh. Following the destructive Lebanese Civil War, Beirut’s cultural landscape underwent major reconstruction Identified and graded for accountancy, advertising, banking/finance and law, Beirut is ranked as a Beta World City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

The culture of Beirut has evolved under the influence of many different peoples and civilizations, such as Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French. The law school in downtown Beirut was one of the world’s earliest and was considered to be a leading centre of legal studies in the Eastern Roman Empire. Beirut hosted the Francophonie and Arab League summits in 2002, and in 2007 it hosted the ceremony for the Prix Albert Londres, which rewards outstanding francophone journalists every year. The city also hosted the Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009. In the same year it was proclaimed World Book Capital by UNESCO.

Beirut has also been called the “party capital of the Arab world”. Rue Monnot has an international reputation among clubbers, and Rue Gouraud in districts such as Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael have emerged as new hotspots for bar patrons and clubbers, as well as “The Alleyway” in Hamra Street.

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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 213 - PAU, FRANCE

“The quality of life is so different in France. There is the possibility of living a simple life.” -  Johnny Depp 

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Pau is a commune on the northern edge of the Pyrenees, and capital of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Département in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. The city is located in the heart of the former sovereign Principality of Béarn, of which it was the capital from 1464. Bordered by the Gave de Pau, the city is located 100 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and 50 kilometres from Spain. This position gives it an exceptional panorama across the mountain range of the Pyrenees as well as on the hillsides of Jurançon.

Archaeology has asserted that the site has been occupied at least since the Gallo-Roman era. Nevertheless, it wasn't until the first half of the 12th century that the first mentions of Pau as a settlement are found. The town originated from the construction of its castle, likely from the 11th century by the Viscounts of Béarn, to protect the ford which was a strategic point for access to the Bearn valleys and then to Spain. The city thus took its name from the stockade (pau in Bearnese) which set the boundaries of the primitive castle. The village which was built around the castle took advantage of its strategic position as well as the protection of the Viscounts of Béarn to widely develop over the following centuries. Pau became the capital of Béarn in 1464, thus becoming the political, cultural and economic centre of this small State which continued to defend its independence from the neighbouring French, English and Spanish peoples.

The town and its castle took on a new dimension by becoming the seat of the Kings of Navarre, at the capture of Pamplona, by the Kingdom of Castile in 1512. Pau became a leading political and intellectual centre under the reign of Henry d'Albret and his wife Marguerite. The history of Pau is marked by the birth of Henry of Bourbon 13 December 1553 in the castle of his grandparents. He gained access to the throne of France in 1589 under the title of Henry IV. The image of the city is since widely associated with that of this monarch made famous for his willingness to put an end to the seemingly endless Wars of Religion. With the end of Béarnaise independence in 1620, Pau lost its influence but remained the same at the head of a largely autonomous province. It was home to the Parliament of Navarre and Béarn which wrote its texts in Occitan until the Revolution and its dismantling to create the Department of Basses-Pyrénées (becoming Pyrénées-Atlantiques in 1969).

The Belle Époque marked a resurgence for the Béarnaise capital with a massive influx of wealthy foreign tourists (including English but also Russian, Spanish and American), they came to spend the winter to take advantage of the benefits of Pau's climate described by the Scottish physician Alexander Taylor. Pau turned widely with the construction of many villas and mansions to accommodate these wintering rich people, the city also developed all elements of modernity for their comfort: Baths, funicular and railway station. It was at this time that Pau became one of the world capitals of the nascent aerospace industry under the influence of the Wright brothers, crowned heads then pressed there to observe the flight of the first flying school in the world.

With the decline of tourism during the 20th century, the Pau economy (and its suburbs) gradually shifted towards the aviation industry and then to that of petrochemicals with the major discovery of the Lacq gas field in 1951. Pau today is a city of about 80,000 inhabitants, the main urban area of Pau and of the Communauté d'agglomération Pau Béarn Pyrénées with 30 neighbouring communes which carry out local tasks together. The Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, founded in 1972, accounts for a large student population. The city plays a leading role for Béarn but also for a wide segment of the Adour area. An administrative capital, it boasts a dense economic fabric including service activities.[note 4] Pau also plays the role of cultural capital with many events, including sports. Pau's heritage extends over several centuries, its diversity and its quality allowed it to obtain the label of City of Art and History in 2011.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 212 - COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

“In Copenhagen, there's a long-term commitment to creating a well-functioning pedestrian city where all forms of movement - pedestrian, bicycles, cars, public transportation - are accommodated with equal priority.” - Bjarke Ingels 

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Copenhagen (Danish: København; Latin: Hafnia) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. The city has a population of 763,908 (as of December 2016), of whom 601,448 live in the Municipality of Copenhagen. The larger urban area has a population of approximately 1.3 million (as of 1 January 2016), while the Copenhagen metropolitan area has just over 2 million inhabitants. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Beginning in the 17th century it consolidated its position as a regional centre of power with its institutions, defences and armed forces. After suffering from the effects of plague and fire in the 18th century, the city underwent a period of redevelopment. This included construction of the prestigious district of Frederiksstaden and founding of such cultural institutions as the Royal Theatre and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

After further disasters in the early 19th century when Nelson attacked the Dano-Norwegian fleet and bombarded the city, rebuilding during the Danish Golden Age brought a Neoclassical look to Copenhagen's architecture. Later, following the Second World War, the Finger Plan fostered the development of housing and businesses along the five urban railway routes stretching out from the city centre. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. The city is the cultural, economic and governmental centre of Denmark; it is one of the major financial centres of Northern Europe with the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Copenhagen's economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology. Since the completion of the Øresund Bridge, Copenhagen has become increasingly integrated with the Swedish province of Scania and its largest city, Malmö, forming the Øresund Region. With a number of bridges connecting the various districts, the cityscape is characterised by parks, promenades and waterfronts. Copenhagen's landmarks such as Tivoli Gardens, The Little Mermaid statue, the Amalienborg and Christiansborg palaces, Rosenborg Castle Gardens, Frederik's Church, and many museums, restaurants and nightclubs are significant tourist attractions.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 211 - RIO GRANDE, USA

“Ride ‘em
Ride ‘em cowboy
Coma-ti-yi-yip-yi-a

Rio grande, Rio Grande
I’d swim you but I can’t
Late at night flickering fire
Keeps me warm and safe from harm
Little man, understands
The indian’s upperhand
Never stray, always travel in groups of ten…” - Brian Wilson and Andy Paley 

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The Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte, or simply Río Bravo) is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, its total length was 3,051 km in the late 1980s, though course shifts occasionally result in length changes. Depending on how it is measured, the Rio Grande is the fourth or fifth longest river system in North America. The river serves as a natural border between the U.S. state of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. A very short stretch of the river serves as the boundary between the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico.

Since the mid–20th century, heavy water consumption of farms and cities along the river has left only 20% of its natural discharge to flow to the Gulf. Near the river's mouth, the heavily irrigated Rio Grande Valley is an important agricultural region. The Rio Grande is one of 19 Great Waters recognized by the America’s Great Waters Coalition. The Rio Grande’s watershed covers 472,000 square km.  Many endorheic basins are situated within, or adjacent to, the Rio Grande’s basin, and these are sometimes included in the river basin’s total area, increasing its size to about 870,000 square km. Excuse the relatively poor quality of this photo, but it was taken in June 1999, with an early version of a digital camera. Still evokes a special memory of a special place!

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 210 - MAINE USA

“I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.” - George Bernard Shaw 

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Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 39th most extensive and the 9th least populous of the U.S. states and territories. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and northwest respectively. Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost east of the Great Lakes.

It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior, and picturesque waterways; and also its seafood cuisine, especially clams and lobster. There is a humid continental climate throughout the state, even in coastal areas such as its most populous city of Portland. The capital is Augusta.

Portland Head Light, informally known as the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse, is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on ahead of land at the entrance of the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor, which is within Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. Completed in 1791, it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. The light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum within Fort Williams Park.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 209 - PERTH, SCOTLAND

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move…” Robert Louis Stevenson 

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Perth (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county of Perthshire. According to the preliminary 2011 census results Perth, including its immediate suburbs, has a population of 50,000. Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called St John's Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St John the Baptist. This name is preserved by the city’s football team, St Johnstone F.C. Perth in Australia and Perth in Canada are both named after Perth in Scotland.

There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, on a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, where the river could be crossed at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.

The presence of Scone Abbey, home of the Stone of Destiny (rightfully known as the stone of Scone) where the King of Scots was crowned, enhanced the early importance of the city. Perth became known as a 'capital' of Scotland, due to the frequent residence of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was soon given to the city by King William the Lion in the early 12th century. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries for goods such as Spanish silk and French wine. The Scottish Reformation also played a big role in the city with the sacking of the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars, after a sermon given by John Knox in St John's Kirk in 1559.

The Act of Settlement later brought about Jacobite uprisings. The city was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions (1689, 1715 and 1745). The founding of Perth Academy in 1760 helped to bring major industries, such as linen, leather, bleach and whisky, to the city. Given its location, Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport centre with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848. Today, Perth serves as a retail centre for the surrounding area. Following the decline of the whisky industry locally, the city's economy has now diversified to include insurance and banking. Due to its location, the city is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Highlands”.

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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 208 - ICARIA, GREECE

“Never regret thy fall, O Icarus of the fearless flight. For the greatest tragedy of them all, Is never to feel the burning light.” – Oscar Wilde

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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Icaria, also spelled Ikaria (Greek: Ικαρία), is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles (19 km) southwest of Samos. According to tradition, it derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who was believed to have fallen into the sea nearby (for the myth, see here).

Administratively, Ikaria forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos. The historic capitals of the island include Oenoe and Evdilos (the latter shown here).

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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 207 - PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

“Every island to a child is a treasure island.” ― P.D. James  

Phillip Island is an Australian island about 140 km south-southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. Named after Arthur Phillip, the first Governor of New South Wales, Phillip Island forms a natural breakwater for the shallow waters of the Western Port. It is 26 km long and 9 km wide, with an area of about 100 km2. It has 97 km of coastline and is part of the Bass Coast Shire. A 640 m concrete bridge (originally a wooden bridge) connects the mainland town San Remo with the island town Newhaven.

In the 2011 census the island's permanent population was 9,406, compared to 7,071 in 2001. During the summer, the population swells to 40,000. 60% of the island is farmland devoted to grazing of sheep and cattle. Here is Cowes Beach. We are having fine, summery weather in Melbourne at the moment, with a maximum of 32˚ C expected this Thursday and Friday.

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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY 206 - ELOUNDA, GREECE

“That the sea is one of the most beautiful and magnificent sights in Nature, all admit.” - John Joly

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.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only.

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Elounda (Greek: Ελούντα), alternative transliterations Elounta or Elouda, is a small fishing town on the northern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the municipality of Agios Nikolaos, until recently (2010) belonging to the prefecture of Lasithi and as of the passage of new legislation, the periphery of Crete.

The road into Elounda from Agios Nikolaos is approximately 12 km in length and follows the shore as it climbs to the top of a small mountain. On a clear day it is possible to see the whole of Mirabello Bay and all the way to the eastern tip of Crete. The small fishing village of Plaka (Lasithi), which overlooks the island of Spinalonga and the Kolikithia Peninsula, can be reached a mere 5 km from the main square of Elounda heading north away from Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos is also the closest major town to the former leper colony of Spinalonga (Greek: Σπιναλόγκα), located on an island officially named Kalydon (Greek: Καλυδών). Elounda is a famous tourist attraction, heavily visited by VIPs for its seaside luxury resorts. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou used to spend his summers in Elounda; today, it is visited almost every year by the royal family of Saudi Arabia.

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