Theme Week Latvia

23 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km² (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 1.9 million. The country has a temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts; and speak Latvian, one of the only two surviving Baltic languages. Russians are the most prominent minority in the country, at almost a quarter of the population.   read more…

Keong Saik Road in Singapore

23 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Jacklee/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Jacklee/cc-by-sa-4.0

Keong Saik Road is a one-way road located in Chinatown within the Outram Planning Area in Singapore. The road links New Bridge Road to Neil Road, and is intersected by Kreta Ayer Road. Keong Saik Road was named in 1926 after the Malacca-born Chinese businessman, Tan Keong Saik, in remembrance to his contribution to the Chinese community.   read more…

Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve in Brandenburg

20 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  5 minutes

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Glambecker Mühle © Uckermaerker/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, often shortened to Schorfheide, is a biosphere reserve in the German State of Brandenburg near the Polish border. The reserve was established on 1 October 1990 following the German Reunification and is under the protection of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme. It stretches over the German districts of Barnim, Uckermark, Märkisch-Oderland and Oberhavel and incorporates an area of 1,291 square kilometres (498 sq mi). Notable towns are Eberswalde, Joachimsthal and Friedrichswalde. The core area of the reserve is formed by the Schorfheide forest, one of the largest cohesive woodlands in Germany.   read more…

Knoxville in Tennessee

18 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

South Gay Street © Brian Stansberry/cc-by-3.0

Knoxville is a city in and the county seat of Knox County in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 United States census, Knoxville’s population was 190,740, making it the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Division and the state’s third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 869,046 in 2019. Knoxville is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee, whose sports teams, the Tennessee Volunteers, are popular in the surrounding area. Knoxville is also home to the headquarters of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Supreme Court‘s courthouse for East Tennessee, and the corporate headquarters of several national and regional companies. As one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region, Knoxville has positioned itself in recent years as a repository of Appalachian culture and is one of the gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.   read more…

Yiwu in Central Zhejiang Province

16 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Park on the river © Cherubby/cc-by-sa-3.0

Yiwu is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jinhua in Central Zhejiang Province, East China. As of the 2020 census, the city had 1,859,390 inhabitants and its built-up (or metro) area, joined with that of the neighboring Dongyang, was home to 2,947,340 inhabitants. The city is famous for its light industry commodity trade and vibrant market and as a regional tourist destination.   read more…

Nakba Day

15 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  12 minutes

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Nakba (lit.: “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs. The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians, both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1947–1949 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees and the “shattering of Palestinian society”. The most important long-term implications of the Nakba for the Palestinian people were the loss of their homeland, the fragmentation and marginalization of their national community, and their transformation into a stateless people.   read more…

St. Nicholas Church in Potsdam

13 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Berlin, General Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

© Bärwinkel,Klaus/cc-by-3.0

St. Nicholas Church (German: St. Nikolaikirche) in Potsdam is a Lutheran church under the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Upper Lusatia of the Evangelical Church in Germany on the Old Market Square (Alter Markt) in Potsdam. The central plan building in the Classicist style and dedicated to Saint Nicholas was built to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the years 1830 to 1837.   read more…

Hollywood in Florida

11 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  5 minutes

Boardwalk © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Boardwalk © Tamanoeconomico/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hollywood is a city in southern Broward County, Florida, United States, located between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. As of July 1, 2019, Hollywood had a population of 154,817. Founded in 1925, the city grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and is now the 12th-largest city in Florida. Hollywood is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census. The average temperature is between 68 and 83 °F (20 and 28 °C). Hollywood is a relatively small city that retains an old laid-back Florida feel to it compared to the larger cities in the area.   read more…

Andros in Greece

9 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Batsi © flickr.com - linmtheu/cc-by-2.0

Batsi © flickr.com – linmtheu/cc-by-2.0

Andros is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Euboea, and about 3 km (2 mi) north of Tinos. It is nearly 40 km (25 mi) long, and its greatest breadth is 16 km (10 mi). It is for the most part mountainous, with many fruitful and well-watered valleys. The municipality, which includes the island Andros and several small, uninhabited islands, has an area of 380 km² (146.719 sq mi). The largest towns are Andros (town), Gavrio, Batsi, and Ormos Korthiou.   read more…

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