Victory in Europe Day

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

8 May 1945 - Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

8 May 1945 – Winston Churchill waves to crowds in Whitehall in London © War Office official photographer, Major W. G. Horton

Victory in Europe Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945. Russia and many former Soviet countries celebrate on 9 May, marking the end of World War II in Europe. Several countries observe public holidays on the day each year, also called Victory Over Fascism Day, Liberation Day or Victory Day. In the UK it is often abbreviated to VE Day, or V-E Day in the US, a term which existed as early as September 1944, in anticipation of victory. The end of all combat actions was specified as 23:01 Central European Time, which was already 9 May in eastern Europe, and thus several former Soviet bloc countries including Russia and Belarus, as well as some former Yugoslav countries like Serbia, celebrate on 9 May.   read more…

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

24 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Chaojoker/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Chaojoker/cc-by-sa-3.0

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day orArmenian Genocide Memorial Day is a public holiday in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh and is observed by the Armenian diaspora on 24 April. It is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915. It was a series of massacres and starvation of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottomans. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial to lay flowers at the eternal flame.   read more…

Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

22 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  4 minutes

© NJR ZA/cc-by-sa-3.0

© NJR ZA/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Apartheid Museum is a museum in Johannesburg, South Africa illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. The museum, part of the Gold Reef City complex, was opened in November 2001. At least five times a year events are held at the museum to celebrate the end of apartheid and the start of multiracial democracy for the people of South Africa.   read more…

Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean

18 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  19 minutes

Aldabra Giant Tortoise © Trisha M Shears

Aldabra Giant Tortoise © Trisha M Shears

Aldabra is the world’s second-largest coral atoll. It is situated in the Aldabra Group of islands in the Indian Ocean that are part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, with a distance of 1,120 km (700 mi) southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island. Aldabra atoll has, besides the four larger islands, some 40 smaller islands and rocks, all inside the lagoon, as well as a few very small islets at the West Channels between Grand Terre Island and Picard Islands, the largest of those being Îlot Magnan. A small scientific research station of the SIF is based on La Gigi village on Picard Island. The permanent staff (currently 12) conduct research to study Aldabra’s biodiversity. Aldabra is not easily accessed. No airstrips, helipads or landing jetties have been permitted to be built on the atoll. The nearest airfield on Assumption is 50 kilometres (31 mi) south-east of Picard Island. Supply ships operating from Mahé provide food and other essentials once every two months to the scientists and staff at the research station. Cruises are operated by several companies along with dive boats which may visit the atoll on expedition tours. Visits to the island by people other than the scientists and staff of the SIF are strictly controlled and only guided tours are provided with prior permission., an average of 900 tourists visit the atoll a year. Within the atoll, paved walking paths exist from the village of La Gigi, which leads to a promontory from where scenic views of the large lagoon (during low tides) and the mangrove species are seen.   read more…

The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

1 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Bete Giyorgis © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bete Giyorgis © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela are monolithic churches located in the Western Ethiopian Highlands near the town of Lalibela, named after the late-12th and early-13th century King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty, who commissioned the massive building project of 11 rock-hewn churches to recreate the holy city of Jerusalem in his own kingdom. The site remains in use by the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church to this day, and it remains an important place of pilgrimage for Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers. It took 24 years to build all the eleven rock hewn churches. The site of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela was first included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.   read more…

Portrait: Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric, anti-apartheid and human rights activist

27 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  17 minutes

Desmond Tutu at the German Evangelical Church Assembly 2007 © Elke Wetzig/cc-by-sa-3.0

Desmond Tutu at the German Evangelical Church Assembly 2007 © Elke Wetzig/cc-by-sa-3.0

Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.   read more…

Auckland Central Business District

21 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  15 minutes

Aerial view © - Craig/cc-by-sa-2.0

Aerial view © – Craig/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Auckland central business district (CBD), also called the city centre by Auckland Council, is the geographical and economic heart of the Auckland metropolitan area. It is the area in which Auckland was established in 1840, by William Hobson. It is New Zealand’s leading financial hub, and the centre of the country’s economy; the GDP of the Auckland Region was $122.557 billion in the year ending March 2020. The CBD is one of the most densely developed places in New Zealand, with many commercial and some residential developments packed into a space of only 433 hectares (1,070 acres). The area is made up of the city’s largest concentration of skyscrapers and businesses. Bounded by several major motorways and by the harbour coastline in the north, it is surrounded further out by mostly suburban areas; it is bounded on the North by Waitematā Harbour, east by Parnell, southeast by Grafton, south by Mount Eden, southwest by Newton, west by Freemans Bay and northwest by Viaduct Harbour.   read more…

Walvis Bay in Namibia

17 September 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Oyster farming © Olga Ernst/cc-by-sa-4.0

Oyster farming © Olga Ernst/cc-by-sa-4.0

Walvis Bay is a city in Namibia and the name of the bay on which it lies. It is the second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. The city covers a total area of 29 square kilometres (11 sq mi) of land.   read more…

Covid-19 – your unique chance

13 August 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes
Covid-19 © Colin D. Funk, Craig Laferriere, and Ali Ardakani/cc-by-4.0

Covid-19 © Colin D. Funk, Craig Laferriere, and Ali Ardakani/cc-by-4.0

“If someone thinks that the corona vaccinations could alter his or her genes, then he/she/it should take advantage of this unique opportunity, because it will not repeat itself that quickly. This is their big chance, as things are looking pretty unpleasant for them so far.”
– Twitter

  read more…

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