Theme Week Laos – Vientiane

26 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Patuxai © Gorgo

Patuxai © Gorgo

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1573 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was later looted then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 820,000 as at the 2015 Census.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Luang Prabang

25 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Night Market © Ekrem Canli/cc-by-sa-4.0

Luang Phabang, commonly transliterated into Western languages from the pre-1975 Lao spelling as Luang Prabang, literally meaning “Royal Buddha Image“, is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. It was listed in 1995 for unique and “remarkably” well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. It had also been known by the ancient name of Xieng Thong. It was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos, until the Pathet Lao takeover in 1975. The city is part of Luang Prabang District of Luang Prabang Province and is the capital and administrative centre of the province. It lies approximately 300 km (190 mi) north of the capital Vientiane. Currently, the population of the city as a whole is roughly 56,000 inhabitants with the UNESCO protected site being inhabited by around 24,000.   read more…

Golf and resort town Hammamet in Tunisia

25 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Old city of Hammamet © Mahdi Chaker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old city of Hammamet © Mahdi Chaker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hammamet is a town in Tunisia. Thanks to its beaches, it is a popular destination for swimming and water sports and is one of the primary tourist destinations in Tunisia. It is located in the south-eastern section of Cap Bon and is part of the Nabeul Governorate. The reported number of inhabitants varies from 100,000 to 400,000 and the population quadruples due to tourists’ arrival in the summer.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Pakse

24 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses and leaning Arecaceae at golden hour from Don Det
© Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pakse is the capital and most populous city of the southern Laotian province of Champasak, making it the second most populous city in Laos. At the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, it has a population of about 88,000. It served as the capital of the Kingdom of Champasak until it was unified with the rest of Laos in 1946.   read more…

Downtown Toronto

24 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Downtown Toronto seen from Toronto Islands © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Toronto seen from Toronto Islands © Arild Vågen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Toronto is the main central business district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located entirely within the district of Old Toronto (neighbourhoods in Toronto), it is approximately 17 square kilometres in area, bounded by Bloor Street to the northeast and Dupont Street to the northwest, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don Valley to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west. It is also the location of the municipal government of Toronto and the Government of Ontario. The area is made up of Canada’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses that form Toronto’s skyline. Downtown Toronto has the third most skyscrapers in North America exceeding 200 metres (656 ft) in height, behind New York City and Chicago.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Champasak Town

23 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

River bank of Don Khon with stilt wooden houses at golden hour from Don Det © Basile Morin/cc-by-sa-4.0

Champasak is a small town in southern Laos, on the west bank of the Mekong River about 40 km south of Pakse, the capital of Champasak Province. The town was once the seat of the Kingdom of Champasak, an independent Lao state which was abolished by the French in 1945 when they created the Kingdom of Laos, but the last King of Champasak had his palace in Pakse.   read more…

Portrait: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

23 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Chief Justice William Rehnquist swearing in Ginsburg as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, as her husband Martin Ginsburg and President Clinton watch © U.S. National Archives and Records Administration - Ralph Alswang

Chief Justice William Rehnquist swearing in Ginsburg as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, as her husband Martin Ginsburg and President Clinton watch © U.S. National Archives and Records Administration – Ralph Alswang

Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American jurist who was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in 2020. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton and was generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor. During her tenure Ginsburg wrote notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia (1996), Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (2000). Between O’Connor’s retirement in 2006 and appointment of Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents.   read more…

Theme Week Laos – Phongsali

22 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Phongsali © Stefan Auth

Phongsali © Stefan Auth

Phongsali or Phongsaly is the capital of Phongsaly Province. It is the northernmost provincial capital in Laos, opposite Attapeu in the south. The town has about 6,000 inhabitants. It lies at approximately 1,430 meters elevation on the slopes of Mount Phu Fa (1,625 meters). Phongsali has summer temperatures around 25-30 °C, with frequent rain. In winter, from November to March, it is cool and mostly sunny, with daytime temperatures between 10-18 °C.   read more…

Rue Gouraud in Beirut

22 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© flickr.com - Karan Jain/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Karan Jain/cc-by-sa-2.0

Rue Gouraud is a mixed residential and commercial street in Gemmayzeh, a neighborhood in the Rmeil district of Beirut in Lebanon. It is named after French General Henri Gouraud. Gemmayze, and Rue Gouraud specifically, competes with the trendy village-type neighborhood of Badaro, as one of Beirut’s bohemian quarters. the district is full of narrow streets and historic buildings from the French era. The neighborhood is well known today for its trendy bars and pubs, cafes, restaurants and lounges, most of which are directly located on Rue Gouraud.   read more…

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