University of Cape Town

3 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  5 minutes

Upper Campus at Groote Schuur on the slopes of Devil's Peak © Adrian Frith/cc-by-sa-3.0

Upper Campus at Groote Schuur on the slopes of Devil’s Peak © Adrian Frith/cc-by-sa-3.0

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university in Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 1829 as the South African College, it was granted full university status in 1918, making it the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest university in Sub-Saharan Africa in continuous operation.   read more…

Bautzen in Saxony

3 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Stephan M. Höhne/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bautzen is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany, and the administrative centre of the district of Bautzen. It is located on the Spree river. In 2018 the town’s population was 39,087. Until 1868, its German name was Budissin. Bautzen is often regarded as the unofficial, but historical capital of Upper Lusatia. The town is also the most important cultural centre of the Sorbian minority, which constitutes about 10 percent of Bautzen’s population. Asteroid 11580 Bautzen is named in honour of the city. The town is situated about 50 km (31 mi) east of Dresden between the Lusatian highland and the lowlands in the north, amidst the region of Upper Lusatia. To the north stretches the Bautzen Reservoir, which was flooded in 1974. This is the former location of the villages of Malsissy (Małšecy) and Nimschütz (Hněwsecy).   read more…

Swallow’s Nest in Crimea

2 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© flickr.com - Иерей Максим Массалитин/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Иерей Максим Массалитин/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Swallow’s Nest is a decorative castle located at Gaspra, a small spa town between Yalta and Alupka, in the Crimean Peninsula. It was built between 1911 and 1912, on top of the 40-metre (130 ft) high Aurora Cliff, in a Neo-Gothic design by the Russian architect Leonid Sherwood for the Baltic German businessman Baron von Steingel.   read more…

The Crown Iris

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

Crown Iris © Sotiris Boutsaxis/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Crown Iris is a cruise ship owned by Mano Maritime. She was originally ordered by Birka Line as MS Birka Queen from the Wärtsilä Marine Turku Shipyard in Finland, but completed by Kvaerner Masa-Yards as MS Royal Majesty for Majesty Cruise Line. In 1997 she was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line as the MS Norwegian Majesty and lengthened by 33.76 m (110 ft 9 in) at the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. She was sold to Louis Cruises as the MS Louis Majesty from 2008 to 2012 when she was chartered to Thomson Cruises as the MS Thomson Majesty before being returned to Louis Cruises/Celestyal Cruises, as the Majesty. In 2018 the ship sold to >Mano Maritime.   read more…

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  12 minutes

The May Company Building, now the Saban Building © Downtowngal/cc-by-sa-4.0

The May Company Building, now the Saban Building © Downtowngal/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is a museum in Los Angeles, California constructed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which is devoted to the history, science, and cultural impact of the film industry. It is the first large-scale museum of its kind in the United States. The museum is located in the historic May Company Building on the intersection Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, part of Museum Row on the Miracle Mile. Originally expected to open in 2020, its completion and opening was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum eventually opened to selected celebrity guests on September 25, 2021, and to the general public on September 30. On Thursday, July 14, the museum voluntarily recognized Academy Museum Workers United as the bargaining representative for 160 of its employees.   read more…

Severomorsk in Russia

1 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Northern Fleet © flickr.com - Сергей Шинкарюк/cc-by-2.0

Northern Fleet © flickr.com – Сергей Шинкарюк/cc-by-2.0

Severomorsk, known as Vayenga until April 18, 1951, is a closed town in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. Severomorsk is the main administrative base of the Russian Northern Fleet. The town is located on the coast of the Barents Sea along the Kola Bay 25 kilometers (16 mi) northeast of Murmansk, the administrative centre of the oblast, to which it is connected by railway and a motorway. The town of Polyarny is in the immediate vicinity on the opposite side of Kola Bay.   read more…

Cabourg in Normandy

30 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Cabourg Beach © Jmdigne/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cabourg Beach © Jmdigne/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cabourg is a commune in the Calvados department, region of Normandy, France. Cabourg is on the coast of the English Channel, at the mouth of the river Dives. The back country is a plain, favourable to the culture of cereal. The town sits on the Côte Fleurie (Flowery Coast) and its population increases by over 40,000 during the summer. Cabourg is located between Caen and Deauville, part of the Côte Fleurie. The town is on the Dives river, across from Dives-sur-Mer.   read more…

Fresno in California, the All American City & Raisin Capital of the World

29 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  14 minutes

The historic Tower Theater for the Performing Arts, built in 1939 © RichardHarrison/cc-by-sa-4.0

The historic Tower Theater for the Performing Arts, built in 1939 © RichardHarrison/cc-by-sa-4.0

Fresno is a major city in the San Joaquin Valley of California. It is the county seat of Fresno County and the largest city in the greater Central Valley region. It covers about 115 square miles (300 km²) and had a population of 542,107 in 2020, making it the fifth-most populous city in California, the most populous inland city in California, and the 34th-most populous city in the nation. Named for the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River, Fresno was founded in 1872 as a railway station of the Central Pacific Railroad before it was incorporated in 1885. It has since become an economic hub of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley, with much of the surrounding areas in the Metropolitan Fresno region predominantly tied to large-scale agricultural production. Fresno is near the geographic center of California, approximately 220 miles (350 km) north of Los Angeles, 170 miles (270 km) south of the state capital, Sacramento, and 185 miles (300 km) southeast of San Francisco. Yosemite National Park is about 60 miles (100 km) to the north, Kings Canyon National Park 60 miles (100 km) to the east, and Sequoia National Park 75 miles (120 km) to the southeast. Fresno is also the third-largest majority-Hispanic city in the United States; 50.5% of its population was Hispanic in 2020. Since 2010, statewide droughts in California have further strained both Fresno’s and the entire Central Valley’s water security.   read more…

Ardennes or Oesling in Belgium, France and Luxembourg

28 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Frahan and the Semois river in Belgium © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-sa-2.5

Frahan and the Semois river in Belgium © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/cc-by-sa-2.5

The Ardennes, also known as the Ardennes Forest or Forest of Ardennes, is a region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, extending into Germany and France. Geologically, the range is a western extension of the Eifel; both were raised during the Givetian age of the Devonian (382.7 to 387.7 million years ago), as were several other named ranges of the same greater range. The Ardennes proper stretches well into Germany and France (lending its name to the Ardennes department and the former Champagne-Ardenne region) and geologically into the Eifel (the eastern extension of the Ardennes Forest into Bitburg-Prüm, Germany); most of it is in the southeast of Wallonia, the southern and more rural part of Belgium (away from the coastal plain but encompassing more than half of the country’s total area). The eastern part of the Ardennes forms the northernmost third of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, also called “Oesling” (Luxembourgish: Éislek). On the southeast the Eifel region continues into the German state of the Rhineland-Palatinate. The trees and rivers of the Ardennes provided the charcoal industry assets that enabled the great industrial period of Wallonia in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was arguably the second great industrial region of the world. The greater region maintained an industrial eminence into the 20th century, after coal replaced charcoal in metallurgy.   read more…

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