Carnival of Venice

22 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© flickr.com - Frank Kovalchek/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Frank Kovalchek/cc-by-2.0

The Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival held in Venice, Italy. The carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is world-famous for its elaborate masks.   read more…

Leiria in Portugal

15 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Fulviusbsas

© Fulviusbsas

Leiria is a city and a municipality in the Centro Region of Portugal and in the historical province of Beira Litoral. It is the capital of Leiria District. The population in 2011 was 126,879, in an area of 565.09 square kilometres (218.18 sq mi). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leiria-Fátima.   read more…

Le Lavandou on the Côte d’Azur Varoise

1 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Cavaliere Beach © Ladislaus Hoffner/cc-by-sa-4.0

Cavaliere Beach © Ladislaus Hoffner/cc-by-sa-4.0

Le Lavandou (Occitan: Lo Lavandor) is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. It derives its name either from the flower lavender (lavanda in Provençal) that is prevalent in the area, or more prosaically from the local form of the Occitan name for lavoir, lavandor (for lavador, a public place for washing clothes).   read more…

São Miguel Island, the largest island of the Azores

30 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

São Miguel Island, nicknamed “The Green Island” (Ilha Verde), is the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The island covers 760 km² (290 sq mi) and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago’s largest city. The ancient laurisilva forest has mostly been replaced by cultivated fields and imported trees and plants, such as the ubiquitous cryptomeria trees. There are some hot springs (caldeiras), generally located in the center of the island, in the area stretching from Povoação to Nordeste. The highest elevation on São Miguel is the Pico da Vara at 1,103 metres (3,619 ft). Lying at the eastern end of the island, it is the focus of a Special Protection Area containing the largest remnant of laurisilva forest on the island, which is home to the endemic and critically endangered bird, the Azores bullfinch. Whale watching tours, starting from Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo are available. One may see sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.   read more…

Pozzuoli on the Gulf of Naples

28 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© panoramio.com - Patrick Nouhailler's…/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Patrick Nouhailler’s…/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pozzuoli is a city and comune of the Metropolitan City of Naples, in the Italian region of Campania. It is the main city of the Phlegrean Peninsula. Since 1946 the town has been the home of the Accademia Aeronautica, the Italian Air Force Academy, which was first situated on the island of Nisida, then from 1962 on a purpose-built hilltop campus overlooking the bay.   read more…

Theme Week Jutland – Læsø

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

Museumsgården © panoramio.com - Carsten Wiehe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Museumsgården © panoramio.com – Carsten Wiehe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Læsø is the largest island in the North Sea bay of Kattegat, and is located 19 kilometres (12 mi) off the northeast coast of the Jutland Peninsula, the Danish mainland. Læsø is also the name of the municipality (Danish: kommune) on that island. The island is a location mentioned in several instances in Norse mythology, including as the dwelling of the sea jötunn Ægir and as a feasting place of the Norse gods, the Æsir.   read more…

Theme Week Madrid – Plaza Mayor

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

© Veronika Bashak/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Veronika Bashak/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Plaza Mayor is a major public space in the heart of Madrid, the capital of Spain. It was once the centre of Old Madrid,. It was first built (1580–1619) during the reign of Philip III. Only a few blocks away is another famous plaza, the Puerta del Sol. The Plaza Mayor is for the people of Madrid and tourists to shop, walk around, eat, and enjoy the outdoors. There is a bronze statue of King Philip III at the center of the square, created in 1616 by Jean Boulogne and Pietro Tacca. Giambologna‘s equestrian statue of Philip III dates to 1616, but it was not placed in the center of the square until 1848. The statue was a gift from the Duke of Florence at that time. It was Queen Isabel II ordered to move it from Casa de Campo to become the centerpiece of the Plaza Mayor.   read more…

Theme Week Jutland – Haderslev

25 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Haderslev garrison © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0

Haderslev garrison © JEK/cc-by-sa-3.0

Haderslev is a Danish town in the Region of Southern Denmark with a population of 22,000. It is the main town and the administrative seat of Haderslev Municipality and is situated in the eastern part of Southern Jutland. Haderslev is home of Sønderjyske, which is an association football team that plays in the Danish Superliga for the 2018-19 season. The town is named after King Hader.   read more…

Theme Week Jutland – Fanø

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

© flickr.com - IMBiblio/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – IMBiblio/cc-by-sa-2.0

Fanø is a island in the North Sea off the coast of southwestern Denmark, and is the very northernmost of the Danish Wadden Sea Islands. Fanø municipality is the municipality (Danish: kommune) that covers the island and its seat is the town of Nordby. Fanø is separated from the mainland by the Wadden Sea over a span of approximately five kilometres (3.1 miles), in the north at the closest point to the mainland 1.24 km. The island is 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) long and 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) wide, and it is located off the coast from the city of Esbjerg to which it is connected by ferry. The ferry ride takes 12 minutes. A variety of environments are to be found on Fanø. Not surprisingly, a very common one is sand. The island’s whole western shore is one long beach. The island’s northwestern corner is a vast sandbank called “Søren Jessens Sand”. Søren Jessen was an entrepreneur and captain from Hjerting, today the westernmost suburb of Esbjerg and the bank is named after him because his ship, the “Anne Catriane”, stranded here in 1712. The vegetation on Fanø is mainly heath and small pine trees, never growing tall because of the predominant strong westerly winds from the North Sea.   read more…

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