Gorky Park in Moscow

3 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Park main portal © A.Savin

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a central park in Moscow, named after Maxim Gorky in 1932. In August 2018, the Park’s 90th anniversary was celebrated. Gorky Park, located at Krymsky Val and situated just across the Moskva River from Park Kultury Metro station, opened in 1928. The park followed the plan of Konstantin Melnikov, a widely known Soviet avant-garde and constructivist architect, and amalgamated the extensive gardens of the old Golitsyn Hospital and of the Neskuchny Palace, covering an area of 300 acres (120 ha) along the river. The history of the Neskuchny Garden can be traced back to 1753, when it emerged in the area between Kaluzhskaya Zastava and Trubetskoy Moskva river-side estate. The neighboring area to Neskuchny Garden, from Krymsky Val to Neskuchny Garden, received little attention right up until the 1920s. Initially it was covered with park gardens, meadows and vegetable gardens belonging to the owners of neighboring estates. It formed a wasteland by the end of the 19th century, and served as a waste heap.   read more…

The European Union: Presidency of the Council of the European Union

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

The presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the member states of the EU every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but rather the position is held by a national government. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “president of the European Union“. The presidency’s function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The presidency is currently, as of July 2020, held by Germany. Three successive presidencies are known as presidency trios. The current trio (2020–21) is made up of Germany (July–December 2020), Portugal (January–June 2021) and Slovenia (July–December 2021).   read more…

The Albatros

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

entering Cairns, Australia © Summerdrought/cc-by-sa-4.0

MS Albatros is a cruise ship, operated by the Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen. She was built in 1973 by Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard, Finland for Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Sea, and has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crown. She is the second Albatros for Phoenix Reisen as she was the replacement of the original SS Albatros. MS Albatros is also known for her QE2-esque funnel. Her home port is Nassau in the Bahamas. In spring and summer, the albatross is usually in the North and Baltic Seas. In autumn she goes to the Mediterranean and Black Sea before going on a world tour (or another big trip with more exotic destinations) over the winter.   read more…

Kontorhaus District in Hamburg

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hamburg, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage

Sprinkenhof © Dietmar Rabich/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sprinkenhof © Dietmar Rabich/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Kontorhaus District is the southeastern part of Altstadt, Hamburg, between Steinstraße, Meßberg, Klosterwall and Brandstwiete. The streetscape is characterised by large office buildings in the style of Brick Expressionism of the early 20th century. The Kontorhaus District consists of 12 Kontor buildings. Since 5 July 2015, parts of the Kontorhaus district and the adjacent Speicherstadt district have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The buildings were mainly made of a reinforced concrete skeleton construction. The new buildings were to be individually designed. Characteristic features are clinker brick facades and copper roofs. In order to make the street canyons more open at the top, the upper floors are often set back from the main front of the house. Decorative elements on the facade are also made of clinker brick; in addition, elements (often sculptures) of ceramics were used for the design, most of which have a connection to Hamburg trade and crafts.   read more…

Parc Astérix in Plailly

1 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Paris

© Loïc Corbasson/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Loïc Corbasson/cc-by-sa-3.0

Parc Astérix is a theme amusement park in France, based on the comic book series Asterix by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny. With more than two million visitors yearly, Parc Astérix is the country’s second biggest theme park after Disneyland Paris and its 14 million annual visitors.   read more…

Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan

29 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Vintner Wine Market © flickr.com - Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0

Vintner Wine Market © flickr.com – Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0

Hell’s Kitchen, sometimes known as Clinton (named for Governor George Clinton), is a neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, west of Midtown Manhattan. It is traditionally considered to be bordered by 34th Street to the south, 59th Street to the north, Eighth Avenue to the east, and the Hudson River to the west. Until the 1970s, Hell’s Kitchen was a bastion of poor and working-class Irish Americans. Though its gritty reputation had long held real-estate prices below those of most other areas of Manhattan, by 1969, the City Planning Commission’s Plan for New York City reported that development pressures related to its Midtown location were driving people of modest means from the area. Since the early 1990s, the area has been gentrifying, and rents have risen rapidly. Home of the Actors Studio training school, and adjacent to Broadway theatres, Hell’s Kitchen has long been a home to fledgling and working actors.   read more…

Theme Week Pakistan – Karachi

27 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0

Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Head Office © Aliraza Khatri/cc-by-sa-4.0

Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the largest city in Pakistan, and seventh largest city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta-global city, with an estimated GDP of $114 billion (PPP) as of 2014. Karachi is Pakistan’s most cosmopolitan city, its most linguistically, ethnically, and religiously diverse city, as well as one of Pakistan’s most secular and socially liberal cities. With its location on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan’s two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as Pakistan’s busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.   read more…

Theme Week Pakistan – Lahore

26 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Farah Baksh Terrace (Upper Terrace) main building © Muhammad Ashar/cc-by-sa-3.0

Farah Baksh Terrace (Upper Terrace) main building © Muhammad Ashar/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and is the country’s 2nd largest city after Karachi, as well as the 18th largest city proper in the world and one of Pakistan’s wealthiest cities as of 2015. Lahore is the largest city and historic cultural centre of the wider Punjab region, and is one of Pakistan’s most socially liberal, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities.   read more…

Garden Grove in California

26 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area

Crystal Cathedral © Ischa1

Crystal Cathedral © Ischa1

Garden Grove< is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the city of Los Angeles in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The population is at about 176,000. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove. Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries. In 1933, much of the town’s central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.   read more…

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