Tuesday, 16 July 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #192 - SORRENTO, ITALY

“One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination.” - Debra Levinson

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Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a town and comune in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri.

The Amalfi Drive (connecting Sorrento and Amalfi) is a narrow road that threads along the high cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ferry boats and hydrofoils provide services to Naples, Amalfi, Positano, Capri and Ischia. Sorrento's sea cliffs and luxury hotels have attracted notable people, including Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti.

Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. Other agricultural production includes citrus fruit, wine, nuts and olives. Wood craftsmanship is also well-developed in the area. 

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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #191 - KYTHIRA, GREECE

“Greece has got something like 1,400 islands. There is so much of Greece you can’t know even if you’re Greek. It’s sprinkled out all around the edge of the Aegean, all over the place. It’s already a secret place wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere huge like Athens or Corinth. The place enchanted me.” – Joanna Lumley

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Kythira (Greek: Κύθηρα, also transliterated as Cythera, Kythera and Kithira) is an island in Greece lying opposite the south-eastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is traditionally listed as one of the seven main Ionian Islands, although it is distant from the main group. Administratively, it belongs to the Islands regional unit, which is part of the Attica region (although at large distance from Attica itself).

The island is strategically located between the Greek mainland and Crete, and from ancient times until the mid 19th century was a crossroads of merchants, sailors, and conquerors. As such, it has had a long and varied history and has been influenced by many civilisations and cultures. This is reflected in its architecture (a blend of traditional, Aegean and Venetian elements), as well as the traditions and customs, influenced by centuries of coexistence of the Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman cultures.

Kythira has a land area of 279.593 square kilometres and it is located at the southwestern exit from the Aegean Sea, behind Cape Malea. The rugged terrain is a result of prevailing winds from the surrounding seas which have shaped its shores into steep rocky cliffs with deep bays. The island has many beaches, of various composition and size; only half of them can be reached by road through the mountainous terrain of the island. The Kythirian Straits are nearby.

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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #190 - NEW ZEALAND STH ISLAND

“New Zealand was one of the most beautiful countries to drive through for the scenery and the vast scale of the place.” - Louise Redknapp

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The South Island or Te Waipounamu is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres and enjoys a temperate climate. As it has a 32% larger landmass than the North Island, it is sometimes referred to as the “mainland” of New Zealand, especially by South Island residents; however, only 23% of New Zealand’s 4.6 million inhabitants live in the South Island.

In the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes. The North Island population overtook the South in the early 20th century, with 56% of the population living in the North in 1911, and the drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the century.

The South Island is divided along its length by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of which is Aoraki/Mount Cook at 3754 metres, with the high Kaikoura Ranges to the northeast. There are eighteen peaks of more than 3000 metres in the South Island. The east side of the island is home to the Canterbury Plains while the West Coast is famous for its rough coastlines such as Fiordland, very high proportion of native bush, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The dramatic landscape of the South Island has made it a popular location for the production of several films, including “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #189 - SARDINIA, ITALY

“This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel, -nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.” - David Herbert Lawrence 

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Cagliari (Sardinian: Casteddu; Latin: Caralis) 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.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #188 - ALICE SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA

“It’s no good going on living in the ashes of a dead happiness.” ― Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice 

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Alice Springs is the third largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Popularly known as “the Alice” or simply “Alice”, Alice Springs is situated roughly in Australia’s geographic centre. The area is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for thousands of years. The name Alice Springs was given by surveyor William Whitfield Mills after Lady Alice Todd (née Alice Gillam Bell), wife of the telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Todd.

Alice Springs has a population of 27,972, which makes up 8.7 percent of the territory’s population. Alice Springs is nearly equidistant from Adelaide and Darwin. The town straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The surrounding region is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, an arid environment consisting of several different deserts.

In Alice Springs temperatures can vary dramatically, with an average maximum temperature in summer of 35.6 °C and an average minimum temperature in winter of 5.1 °C. Alice Springs has faced many problems in recent years, largely stemming from an increase in crime and a strong racial divide that has existed for years in the town.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #187 - PORTOFINO, ITALY

“Italy and the spring and the first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.” - Bertrand Russell 

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Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. It is a comune located in the Metropolitan City of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is clustered around its small harbour, and is known for the colourfully painted buildings that line the shore.

According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf. The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte.In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo's commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa.

The town’s natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa. In 1409 Portofino was sold to the Republic of Florence by Charles VI of France, but when the latter was ousted from Genoa the Florentines gave it back. In the 15th century it was a fief of families such as the Fieschi, Spinola, Adorno, and Doria.In 1815 it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and, from 1861, of the unified Kingdom of Italy.

In the late 19th century, first British, then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino, which they reached by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. Aubrey Herbert and Elizabeth von Arnim were amongst the more famous English people to make the area fashionable. Eventually more expatriates built expensive vacation houses, and by 1950 tourism had supplanted fishing as the town's chief industry, and the waterfront was a continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.

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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #186 - LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND

“It’s tough to find a place not to like in Switzerland.” - Michele Bachmann 

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Lucerne (Luzern) is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and a nexus of transportation, telecommunications, and government of this region. The city’s urban area consists of 17 cities and towns located in three different cantons with an overall population of about 250,000 people.

Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists. One of the city's famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century. This photo is from 1999, when we visited Switzerland and they are taken with my first digital camera, so the quality is not optimal - however, it does bring back happy memories.

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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #185 - DAYLESFORD, AUSTRALIA

“People never sing, except in the bathroom. Birthing women also make their natural sounds next to running bath water. There is something about the power of water. People are drawn to water, spas, and sacred streams. Women in labour are drawn to water, too.” - Michel Odent 

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Daylesford is a spa town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, within the Shire of Hepburn, Victoria, Australia, approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. First established in 1852 as a gold-mining town, today Daylesford has a population of 2,565 as of the 2011 census. As one of Australia’s few spa towns, Daylesford is a notable tourist destination. The town’s numerous spas, restaurants and galleries are popular alongside the many gardens and country-house-conversion styled bed and breakfasts.

The broader area around the town, including Hepburn Springs to the north, is known for its natural spring mineral spas and is the location of over 80 per cent of Australia's effervescent mineral water reserve. The Daylesford wine region is fast becoming known as Australia's best Pinot growing region, boasting continuous gold medals and 95 point plus wines. At 616 metres above sea level, it has a cooler, wetter climate than Melbourne. Summer (January–February) temperatures range from 10 to 37 °C, while July temperatures are cold, ranging from about 1–2 °C to 9 °C. Annual precipitation, occasionally falling as snow, averages about 870 mm but has ranged from 445 mm to over 1,350 mm per year. 

With 65 mineral springs, the Daylesford-Hepburn Springs region accounts for more than 80 per cent of Australia’s known mineral water springs. As a result, the region has a number of spa developments including Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, Mineral Spa at Peppers Springs Retreat and Salus Spa, Lake House. The town is also known for hosting a number of annual events, including the ChillOut Festival held during the Victorian Labour Day long weekend in March each year, the largest gay and lesbian festival in rural and regional Australia; the Harvest Week Festival; the Lavandula's Festivals; and the Hepburn Springs Swiss Italian Festival celebrating the town's Swiss-Italian heritage.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #184 - LAKELAND, UK

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” - Henry David Thoreau 

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The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains (or fells) and its associations with the early 19th century writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.

Covering an area of approximately 2,362 square kilometres, the region was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. It is located entirely within the county of Cumbria, and all the land in England higher than 910 m above sea level lies within the National Park, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It also contains the deepest and longest bodies of water in England, respectively Wast Water and Windermere.

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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #183 - CURAÇAO

“The Caribbean is not an idyll, not to its natives. They draw their working strength from it organically, like trees, like the sea almond or the spice laurel of the heights.” - Derek Walcott

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Curaçao (Papiamento: Kòrsou, pronounced [ˈkorsou]) is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country (Dutch: land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The country was formerly part of the Curaçao and Dependencies colony (1815–1954) and is now formally called the Country of Curaçao (Dutch: Land Curaçao; Papiamento: Pais Kòrsou); it includes the main island of Curaçao and the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao").

Curaçao has a population over 160,000 in an area of 444 km2 and its capital is Willemstad. Before the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, Curaçao was administered as the “Island Territory of Curaçao” (Dutch: Eilandgebied Curaçao, Papiamento: Teritorio Insular di Kòrsou), one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.

Although Curaçao is autonomous, the Netherlands has interfered when necessary to ensure that parliamentary elections were held and to assist in finalising an accurate budget. In July 2017, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath stated that he wants the island to take full responsibility, but asked for more cooperation and assistance from the Netherlands with suggestions for more innovative approaches to help Curaçao succeed, increasing the standard of living. The Dutch government reminded Curaçao that it has provided assistance with Oil Refinery negotiations with the Chinese on numerous occasions.

While tourism plays a major role in Curaçao's economy, it is less reliant on tourism than other Caribbean countries. Most tourists originate from the Netherlands, the eastern United States, South America and other Caribbean Islands . It is a leader in the Caribbean in cruise tourism growth with 610,186 cruise passengers in 2013, a 41.4% increase over the prior year. Hato International Airport received 1,772,501 passengers in 2013 and recently announced capital investments totaling US$48 million aimed at transforming the airport into a regional hub by 2018. In 2017 the tourism sector was expected grow at 1% in terms of the total tourist stay over and by 15% in total cruise visitors versus 2016.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #182 - SAN MARINO

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” ― Plutarch 

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San Marino (officially, the Republic of San Marino [Italian: Repubblica di San Marino]; also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino [Italian: Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino]), is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 and has an estimated population of about 32,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino and its largest city is Dogana. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe.

San Marino claims to be the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world, as the continuation of the monastic community founded on 3 September 301, by stonecutter Marinus of Arba. Legend has it that Marinus left Rab, then the Roman colony of Arba, in 257 when the future emperor Diocletian issued a decree calling for the reconstruction of the city walls of Rimini, which had been destroyed by Liburnian pirates.

San Marino is governed by the Constitution of San Marino (Leges Statutae Republicae Sancti Marini), a series of six books written in Latin in the late 16th century, that dictate the country’s political system, among other matters. The country is considered to have the earliest written governing documents (constitution) still in effect. The country's economy mainly relies on finance, industry, services and tourism. Despite having an extremely small economy for a nation state, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions. San Marino is considered to have a highly stable economy, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, no national debt and a budget surplus. It is the only country with more vehicles than people!

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #181 - ATHENS, GREECE

“A great city, whose image dwells in the memory of man, is the type of some great idea. Rome represents conquest; Faith hovers over the towers of Jerusalem; and Athens embodies the pre-eminent quality of the antique world, Art.” - BenjaminDisraeli 

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Athens (Modern Greek: Αθήνα, Athína; Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai) is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years, and the earliest human presence around the 11th–7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then known European continent.

Today a cosmopolitan metropolis, modern Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world’s 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 77th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is recognised as a global city because of its geo-strategic location and its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a large financial sector, and features the largest passenger port in Europe, and the third largest in the world. According to Eurostat in 2004, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) was the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 5th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 4,013,368. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilisation. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens (seen above).

Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archaeological Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #180 - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

“I think Melbourne is by far and away the most interesting place in Australia, and I thought if I ever wrote a novel or crime novel of any kind, I had to set it here.” - Peter Temple 

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Melbourne is the state capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The name “Melbourne” covers an urban agglomeration spanning 9,992.5 km2, which comprises the broader metropolitan area, as well as being the common name for its city centre. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. Melbourne consists of 31 municipalities. It has a population of 4,725,316 as of 2016, and its inhabitants are called Melburnians

Founded by free settlers from the British Crown colony of Van Diemen’s Land on 30 August 1835, in what was then the colony of New South Wales, it was incorporated as a Crown settlement in 1837. It was named “Melbourne” by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke, in honour of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne.

It was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria, to whom Lord Melbourne was close, in 1847, after which it became the capital of the newly founded colony of Victoria in 1851. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, it was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it served as the nation’s interim seat of government until 1927. Additionally, it was the host city of the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Melbourne rates highly in education, entertainment, health care, research and development, tourism and sport, making it the world’s most liveable city (for the seventh year in a row in 2017), according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks among the top 15 cities in the world in the Global Financial Centres Index.

Referred to as Australia’s “cultural capital”, it is the birthplace of Australian impressionism, Australian rules football, the Australian film and television industries, and Australian contemporary dance. It is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature and a major centre for street art, music and theatre. It is home to many of Australia’s largest and oldest cultural institutions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the National Gallery of Victoria, the State Library of Victoria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #179 - NÔTRE DAME DE PARIS

“I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.” - Catherine the Great 

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Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits The city is both a commune and department and forms the centre and headquarters of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an area of 12,012 square kilometres and a population in 2016 of 12,142,802, comprising roughly 18 percent of the population of France. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion (US $687 billion) in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. 

Notre-Dame de Paris ("Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Cardinal Michel Christian Alain Aupetit.

The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism's most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration in the radical phase of the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845. A project of further restoration and maintenance began in 1991.

While undergoing renovation and restoration, the cathedral caught fire on 15 April 2019 and sustained significant damage, including the destruction of two-thirds of the roof and the spire. The world watched in disbelief as this cultural monument of humankind was devastated by flames. All cultured human beings mourned with the French for the loss of this basion of Western civilisation. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that Notre-Dame will be rebuilt, stating “It’s part of the fate, the destiny of France, and our common project over the coming years. And I am committed to it.” 

We stand united with Parisians and all civilised people around the world, sharing their loss of one of the great cultural monuments of the world, the Nôtre Dame of Paris. The cathedral will arise anew from its ashes and continue to symbolise culture and civilisation, faith and enlightenment, sensitivity and broad-mindedness. 

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

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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

TRAVEL TUESDAY #178 - SAN DIEGO, USA

“Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. Thank you for the rain. And for the chance to wake up in three hours and go fishing: I thank you for that now, because I won’t feel so thankful then.” - Garrison Keillor

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 will be removed immediately.
San Diego (Spanish for “Saint James”) is a major city in California, in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 190 km south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico. With an estimated population of 1,394,928 as of July 1, 2015, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-largest trans-border agglomeration between the US and a bordering country after Detroit–Windsor, with a population of 4,922,723 people.

San Diego is known as “the birthplace of California” and is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbour, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development centre. Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, San Diego was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the entire area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later.

The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of the newly-independent Mexico, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. In 1850, it became part of the United States following the Mexican–American War and the admission of California to the union. The city is the seat of San Diego County and is the economic centre of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area.

San Diego’s main economic engines are military and defence-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Centre, has helped make the area a centre of research in biotechnology.

Downtown San Diego is located on San Diego Bay. Balboa Park encompasses several mesas and canyons to the northeast, surrounded by older, dense urban communities including Hillcrest and North Park. To the east and southeast lie City Heights, the College Area, and Southeast San Diego. To the north lies Mission Valley and Interstate 8. The communities north of the valley and freeway, and south of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, include Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, and Navajo. Stretching north from Miramar are the northern suburbs of Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Rancho Bernardo.

The far northeast portion of the city encompasses Lake Hodges and the San Pasqual Valley, which holds an agricultural preserve. Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights occupy the northwest corner of the city. To their south are Torrey Pines State Reserve and the business centre of the Golden Triangle. Further south are the beach and coastal communities of La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach. Point Loma occupies the peninsula across San Diego Bay from downtown. The communities of South San Diego, such as San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, are located next to the Mexico–United States border, and are physically separated from the rest of the city by the cities of National City and Chula Vista. A narrow strip of land at the bottom of San Diego Bay connects these southern neighbourhoods with the rest 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.

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