Tuesday, 23 February 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 276 - THE DEL, USA

“When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is a secrecy, there is a luxury, there is fantasy. There is comfort. There is reassurance.” - Diane von Furstenberg

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The Hotel del Coronado (also known as The Del and Hotel Del) is a historic beachfront hotel in the city of Coronado, just across the San Diego Bay from San Diego, California. It is one of the few surviving examples of an American architectural genre: The wooden Victorian beach resort. It is the second largest wooden structure in the United States (after the Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon) and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and a California Historical Landmark in 1970.

When it opened in 1888, it was the largest resort hotel in the world. It has hosted presidents, royalty, and celebrities through the years. The hotel has been featured in numerous movies and books. The hotel received a Four Diamond rating from the American Automobile Association and was once listed by USA Today as one of the top ten resorts in the world, though it has since been removed from that list.

Notable guests have included Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum, Charlie Chaplin, King Kalakaua of Hawaii, Vincent Price, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn. More recently, guests have included Kevin Costner, Whoopi Goldberg, Gene Hackman, George Harrison, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey. The following presidents have stayed at the hotel: Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 275 - HANGING ROCK, AUSTRALIA

“It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” - Diane Ackerman
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Hanging Rock (also known as Mount Diogenes), in Central Victoria, Australia, is a distinctive geological formation, 718m above sea level (105m above plain level) on the plain between the two small townships of Newham and Hesket, approximately 70 km north-west of Melbourne and a few kilometres north of Mount Macedon, a former volcano.
Best known as the site where a party of schoolgirls disappeared in February 1900 in the fictional story "Picnic at Hanging Rock" written by Joan Lindsay and published in 1967. The novel inspired the film "Picnic at Hanging Rock", made in 1975 and directed by Peter Weir. The success of the film was responsible for a substantial increase in visits to the rock and a renewal of interest in the novel. Yvonne Rousseau wrote a book called The Murders at Hanging Rock, published in 1980, which examined possible explanations for the disappearance of the girls. Hanging Rock is located within the indigenous Wurundjeri nation's territory.
Hanging Rock contains numerous distinctive rock formations, including the 'Hanging Rock' itself (a boulder suspended between other boulders, under which is the main entrance path), the Colonnade, the Eagle and the UFO. The highest point on Hanging Rock is 718 metres above sea level and 105 metres above the plain below.
Hanging Rock is located within the Wurundjeri nation's territory but they exercised a custodial responsibility on behalf of the surrounding tribes in the Kulin nation. It was a site of male initiation and as such entry was forbidden except those young males being taken there for ceremonial initiation. After colonial settlement the Aboriginal people of the area were quickly dispossessed and forced out of the area by 1844.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 274 - IRONBRIDGE, UK

“I learned that a long walk and calm conversation are an incredible combination if you want to build a bridge.” - Seth Godin

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Ironbridge is a village on the River Severn, at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge, in Shropshire, England. It lies in the civil parish of The Gorge, in the borough of Telford and Wrekin. Ironbridge developed beside, and takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 30-metre cast iron bridge that was built across the river in 1779. The area around Ironbridge is described by those promoting it as a tourist destination as the “Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”. This description is based on the idea that Abraham Darby perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke, in Coalbrookdale, allowing much cheaper production of iron.
However, the industrial revolution did not “begin” in one place, but in many. Darby’s iron smelting was but one small part of this generalised revolution and was soon superseded by the great iron-smelting areas. However, the bridge – being the first of its kind fabricated from cast iron, and one of the few which have survived to the present day – remains an important symbol representative of the dawn of the industrial age.
The grandson of the first Abraham Darby, Abraham Darby III, built the famous bridge – originally designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard – to link the two areas. Construction began in 1779 and the bridge opened on New Year's Day 1781. Soon afterwards the ancient Madeley market was relocated to the new purpose-built square and Georgian Butter Cross and the former dispersed settlement of Madeley Wood gained a planned urban focus as Ironbridge, the commercial and administrative centre of the Coalbrookdale coalfield.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 273 - HANNOVER, GERMANY

“You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe.” - Donald Rumsfeld

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Hannover on the River Leine, is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg (later described as the Elector of Hannover). At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Electorate was enlarged to become a Kingdom with Hannover as its capital.

From 1868 to 1946 Hannover was the capital of the Prussian Province of Hannover and afterwards of the Hannover administrative region until that was abolished in 2005. It is now the capital of the Land of Lower Saxony. Since 2001 it has been part of the Hannover district (Region Hannover), which is a municipal body made up of the former district (Landkreis Hannover) and city of Hannover. With a population of 518,000, Hannover is a major centre of Northern Germany and the country's thirteenth largest city.

Hannover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and the CeBIT. Every year Hannover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, and the Oktoberfest Hannover, the second largest festival of its kind in Germany. In 2000, Hannover hosted the world fair Expo 2000. The Hannover fairground, due to numerous extensions, especially for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hannover is of national importance because of its universities and medical school, its international airport and its large zoo. The city is also a major crossing point of railway lines and highways (Autobahnen), connecting European main lines in both the east-west (Berlin–Ruhr area) and north-south (Hamburg–Munich, etc.) directions.

The New Town Hall (German: Neues Rathaus) or New City Hall in Hannover, is a city hall and was opened on July 20, 1913, after having been under construction for 12 years. It is a magnificent, castle-like building of the era of Wilhelm II in eclectic style at the southern edge of the inner city (outside of the historic city centre of Hannover). The building is embedded in the 10 hectare Maschpark. The Old Town Hall is no longer used as the main seat of administration, but houses businesses and the registry office.

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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 272 - SEGOVIA

“In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.” – Federico Garcia Lorca

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Segovia is a city in the autonomous region of Castile and León, Spain. The city is famous for its historical buildings and for three main landmarks: Its magnificent Roman aqueduct, its cathedral, one of the last Gothic temples to be built in Europe, and the castle, which was an influence for Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle. The city centre of Segovia was declared World Heritage by the Unesco in 1985. It is the capital of the Province of Segovia.

Segovia’s position on trading routes made it an important centre of trade in wool and textiles. The end of the Middle Ages saw something of a golden age for Segovia, with a growing Jewish population and the creation of a foundation for a powerful cloth industry. Several splendid works of Gothic architecture were also completed during this period. Notably, Isabella I was proclaimed queen of Castile in the church of San Miguel de Segovia on December 13, 1474.

The population growth that the city experienced during the nineteenth century accelerated steadily beginning around 1920: 16,013 inhabitants that year, 33,360 in 1960, 53,237 in 1981. Since the 1980s growth has slowed markedly: 55,586 in 2004 and 56,047 in 2007.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 271 - KEW BOATHOUSE, MELBOURNE

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” - Rahm Emanuel

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COVID-19 is still at large and wreaking havoc with our lives, not least our travel plans. Local travel and tourism is fortunately an option here in Melbourne, with many places in Victoria still offering a wealth of options for local tourists both in the metropolitan area, as well as further afield, daytripping!

An institution in Melbourne is the historic Studley Park Boathouse in Kew (often referred to as the “Kew Boathouse”), which is only 10 minutes from Melbourne’s  city centre. It offers visitors the opportunity to dine in the restaurant, relax over a lighter meal in the indoor/outdoor café, or have a light snack from the kiosk while enjoying sweeping views of the Yarra River and natural bushland.

There are numerous bush walks to take along the Yarra River and adjacent parklands, with something to see whatever the season, whatever the weather. Guests can also hire row boats, canoes and kayaks from the oldest operating boathouse in Australia. Open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Kids love the place as there are activities, animals and wide open spaces to play in.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 270 - SYRACUSE, SICILY

“Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.” – Plato

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Syracuse (Italian: Siracusa; Sicilian: Sarausa/Seragusa; Latin: Syrācūsae; Ancient Greek: Συράκουσαι, Syrakousai) is a historic city in Sicily, the capital of the province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the pre-eminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea.

The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans and became a very powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth and exerted influence over the entirety of Magna Graecia, of which it was the most important city. Described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all”, it equalled Athens in size during the fifth century BC. It later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it in importance, as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860.

In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12 as Paul stayed there. The patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy; she was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucy’s Day, is celebrated on 13 December.

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Tuesday, 5 January 2021

TRAVEL TUESDAY 269 - COPENHAGEN, DENMARK

“I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” - Bernie Sanders

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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, 29 December 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 268 - LEIDEN, HOLLAND

“Thus I am in Holland, the kingdom of things, great principality of objects. In Dutch, schoen means beautiful and at the same time clean, as if neatness was raised to the dignity of a virtue.” ― Zbigniew Herbert

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Leiden is a city and municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland. The municipality of Leiden has a population of 122,565, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with around 190,000 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Old Rhine, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.

A university city since 1575, Leiden houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Centre. It is twinned with Oxford, the location of the United Kingdom’s oldest university. Over 1994/95 I spent several months in the Netherlands engaged in various academic/research activities. I lived in Leiden for five weeks, which was a wonderful time for me. I spent a great deal of my spare time cycling around the city and environs visiting the grand old buildings, notable museums, beauty spots and historical sites.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 267 - DURDLE DOOR, UK

“Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” - Will Duran

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Durdle Door (sometimes written Durdle Dor) is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset, England. It is privately owned by the Welds, a family who owns 12,000 acres (50 km2) in Dorset in the name of the Lulworth Estate. It is open to the public. The name Durdle is derived from the Old English 'thirl' meaning bore or drill.

The existence of the arch is due to the collision of continents and the birth of the Alps. One may see that the layers of rock exposed in the cliffs are tilting steeply to the north. This is most notable with Durdle Door itself as it is formed from a layer of hard limestone standing almost vertically out of the sea. Normally layers of limestone would be horizontal. Only the most fundamental force in geology could have altered these rocks in this way – plate tectonics.

Around 25 million years ago the African tectonic plate collided with the European plate. The huge pressures generated heaved and folded rocks to create the mountain chain we know as the Alps. Ripples from that collision spread north through the Earth’s crust and gently folded the rocks here, in what would become south Dorset and Purbeck. Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove lie in the heart of one of these folds, where the rock layers have been tilted steeply. As the sea broke through the hard limestone it washed away the softer rocks behind creating the arch, the cove and the beautiful coastline where Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are both found.

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Tuesday, 15 December 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 266 - NORFOLK ISLAND

“How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.” - Albert Einstein
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Norfolk Island (Norfuk: Norf’k Ailen) is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, 1,412 kilometres directly east of mainland Australia’s Evans Head, and about 900 kilometres from Lord Howe Island. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of the Commonwealth of Australia’s external territories. At the 2016 Australian census, it had 1,748 inhabitants living on a total area of about 35 km2. Its capital is Kingston.Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesians but was long unpopulated when it was eventually also settled by Great Britain as part of its settlement of Australia from 1788. The island served as a convict penal settlement from 6 March 1788 until 5 May 1855, except for an 11-year hiatus between 15 February 1814 and 6 June 1825, when it lay abandoned. On 8 June 1856, permanent civilian residence on the island began when it was settled from Pitcairn Island.In 1914 the UK handed Norfolk Island over to Australia to administer as an external territory.
The evergreen Norfolk Island pine is a symbol of the island and thus pictured on its flag. Native to the island, the pine is a key export for Norfolk Island, being a popular ornamental tree on mainland Australia, where two related species grow, and also worldwide. Norfuk (increasingly spelt Norfolk) or Norf'k is the language spoken on Norfolk Island by the local residents. It is a blend of 18th-century English and Tahitian, originally introduced by Pitkern-speaking settlers from the Pitcairn Islands. Along with English, it is the co-official language of Norfolk Island.

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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 265 - PATMOS, GREECE

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Do you wish to see clearly? First  shed your tears so that your heart is cleansed; then open your eyes wide, and unstop your ears. Extend your hands and offer to anyone in need whatever you have and can hardly spare. The world in all its beauty will reveal itself to you in its crystal clarity.” - NJV

Patmos (Greek, Πάτμος; Italian: Patmo) is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. One of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex, it has a population of 2,998 and an area of 34.05 km2. The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 metres above sea level. The Municipality of Patmos, which includes the offshore islands of Arkoi (pop. 44), Marathos (pop. 5), and several uninhabited islets, has a total population of 3,047 (2011 census) and a combined land area of 45.039 square kilometres.

Forbes in a 2009 research has named Patmos as Europe's Most Idyllic Place to live, due to the fact that: “Patmos has evolved over the centuries but has not lost its air of quiet tranquillity, which is one reason why people that know it return again and again.”

Patmos is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible. The book’s introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given (and recorded) a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer John of Patmos as John the Apostle. For this reason, Patmos is a destination for Christian pilgrimage. 

Visitors can see the cave where John is said to have received his Revelation (the Cave of the Apocalypse), and several monasteries on the island are dedicated to Saint John. After the death of John of Patmos, possibly around 100, a number of Early Christian basilicas were erected on Patmos. Among these was a Grand Royal Basilica in honour of Saint John, built c. 300–350 at the location where the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian stands today.

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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 264 - BARCELONA, SPAIN

“I’ve always wondered how much can you do for your fellow man if your hands are constantly stuck together in Prayers for him?” ― Stanley Victor Paskavich

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Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain, and the country’s second most populous municipality, with a population of 1.6 million within city limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around five million people, being the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high.

Founded as a Roman city in the Middle Ages, Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.

Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí (see the ‘Basílica de la Sagrada Família’ above) and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 263 - HOBART, TASMANIA

“Perhaps the virtue of coming from a place like Tasmania is that you had the great gift of knowing that you were not the centre of things, yet life was no less where you were.” -  Richard Flanagan

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Hobart is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as a penal colony, Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city after Sydney. In 2009, the city had a greater area population of approximately 212,019. A resident of Hobart is known as a “Hobartian”.

The city is located in the state's south-east on the estuary of the Derwent River. The skyline is dominated by Mount Wellington at 1,271 metres high. The city is the financial and administrative heart of Tasmania, also serving as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations. Hobart was named Australia's 6th most sustainable city, by the Australian Conservation Foundation in 2010. For economic and social innovation, Hobart was the 11th placed in Australia in 2009, and listed as an innovation influencer city in the Innovation Cities Global Index scoring equal with Reykjavik, Katowice and Casablanca by 2thinknow.
Hobart supports a huge tourist industry. Visitors come to the city to explore its historic inner suburbs and nationally acclaimed restaurants and cafes, as well as its vibrant music and nightlife culture. Australia’s first legal casino was the 17-storey Wrest Point Hotel Casino in Sandy Bay, opened in 1973. Tourists also come to visit the massive weekly market in Salamanca Place, as well as to use the city as a base from which to explore the rest of Tasmania.

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Tuesday, 17 November 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 262 - PRETORIA, SA

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

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.

Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers shall be removed immediately.
Pretoria (Xhosa: E-Pitoli) is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the administrative branch of government (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital), and of foreign embassies to South Africa.

Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) located in its eastern suburbs. The city also hosts the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve.

There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some public controversy. Pretoria is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius, and within South Africa sometimes called the "Jacaranda City" due to the thousands of jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens. Being an invasive species, jacaranda trees are no longer allowed to be planted in Pretoria.

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

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Tuesday, 10 November 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 261 - FLANDERS FIELDS

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row.” - Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

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.
Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers shall be removed immediately.

Papaver rhoeas (common names include common poppy, corn poppy, corn rose, field poppy, Flanders poppy or red poppy) is an annual herbaceous species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae. This poppy is notable as an agricultural weed (hence the common names including “corn-” and “field-”), and after World War I as a symbol of dead soldiers. Before the advent of herbicides, P. rhoeas sometimes was so abundant in agricultural fields that it could be mistaken for a crop. However, the only species of Papaveraceae grown as a field crop on a large scale is Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy.

Papaver rhoeas is a variable, erect annual, forming a long-lived soil seed bank that can germinate when the soil is disturbed. In the northern hemisphere it generally flowers in late spring, but if the weather is warm enough, other flowers frequently appear at the beginning of autumn. It grows up to about 70 cm in height. The flowers are large and showy, 50 to 100 mm across, with four petals that are vivid red, most commonly with a black spot at their base. The flower stem is usually covered with coarse hairs that are held at right angles to the surface, helping to distinguish it from Papaver dubium in which the hairs are more usually appressed (i.e. held close to the stem). The capsules are hairless, obovoid (egg-shaped), less than twice as tall as they are wide, with a stigma at least as wide as the capsule. Like many other species of Papaver, the plant exudes white to yellowish latex when the tissues are broken Its origin is not known for certain.

As with many such plants, the area of origin is often ascribed by Americans to Europe, and by northern Europeans to southern Europe. Its native range includes West Asia, North Africa and Europe. It is known to have been associated with agriculture in the Old World since early times and has had an old symbolism and association with agricultural fertility. It has most of the characteristics of a successful weed of agriculture. These include an annual lifecycle that fits into that of most cereals, a tolerance of simple weed control methods, the ability to flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested, and the ability to form a long-lived seed bank. The leaves and latex have an acrid taste and are mildly poisonous to grazing animals. A sterile hybrid with Papaver dubium is known, P. x hungaricum, that is intermediate in all characters with P. rhoeas.

Due to the extent of ground disturbance in warfare during World War I, corn poppies bloomed in between the trench lines and no man's lands on the Western front. Poppies are a prominent feature of the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, one of the most frequently quoted English-language poems composed during the First World War. During the 20th century, the wearing of a poppy at and before Remembrance Day (November 11) each year became an established custom in English-speaking western countries. It is also used at some other dates in some countries, such as at appeals for Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.

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.

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Tuesday, 3 November 2020

TRAVEL TUESDAY 260 - 2020 MELBOURNE CUP

“Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation. The Cup astonishes me.” – Mark Twain

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.
Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers shall be removed immediately.
Today is Melbourne Cup Day here in my home city. At 3.00 pm, on the first Tuesday in November, Australians everywhere stop for one of the world’s most famous horse races - the Melbourne Cup. Even those who don’t usually bet, try their luck with a small bet or entry into a “sweep” (a lottery in which each ticket-holder is matched with a randomly drawn horse).
Since 1877, Melbourne Cup Day has been a public holiday for Melbourne, and crowds have flocked to Flemington. By 11.00 am the grandstand is packed to its 7,000 capacity, and by 3.00 pm, many tens of thousands of people usually gather around the racecourse. The party atmosphere often means that champagne and canapés, huge hats and racetrack fashions overshadow the business of horse racing.
The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861 at Flemington Racecourse and was won by Archer, a horse from Nowra, New South Wales, beating the local favourite, Mormon. The prize was a gold watch and £170. Dismissed by the bookies, Archer took a lot of money away from Melbourne, refuelling interstate rivalry and adding to the excitement of the Cup.
The Melbourne Cup is one of the world’s most challenging horse races and one of the richest (total prize money for 2020 – is $8 million, with the winner receiving $4.4 million), and is the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival. The race is run over 3,200 metres and is a handicapped race. This means that the better the horse is, the more weight it has to carry in the race. The distance and the handicap ensure that the Melbourne Cup is a horse race in which the occasional punter has as good a chance of picking the winner as those who follow the form. It is a day when all Australians are considered to have an equal chance on the turf as well as on the lawn.
This year for the first time in its history, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) advised the general public, that in light of the ongoing situation around government restrictions, as well as the current public health advice, it was not possible to welcome spectators to Flemington Racecourse for the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Hence, instead of hundreds of thousands in attendance within the racecourse and its grounds, the Cup was run with barely 200 people present.
The winners were:
First: No. 6 TWILIGHT PAYMENT
Second : No. 21 TIGER MOTH
Third: No. 12 PRINCE OF ARRAN
Fourth: No. 17 THE CHOSEN ONE
The very sad thing this year was that one of the horses running was injured (a broken fetlock) and had to be put down.
If you bet, I hope you backed a winning horse. If you are like me, and not a gambler, I hope you had a nice lunch with some ice-cold champagne and delicious food!

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.

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