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© janine pohl/cc-by-sa-2.5

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Germany's test market Hassloch

Germany's test market Hassloch

[caption id="attachment_159833" align="aligncenter" width="590"] The oldest houses © Georg Slickers[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Haßloch (or Hassloch) is a municipality in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Unlike most municipalities in the district, it does not belong to any Verbandsgemeinde - a kind of collective municipality. It lies near the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen built-up area. The municipality has grown out of a single centre and is thus sometimes styled "Germany’s biggest village". Haßloch is th...

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Theme Week Canary Islands - Fuerteventura

Theme Week Canary Islands - Fuerteventura

[caption id="attachment_153407" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Morro Jable © Yoshi[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]With 1,660 km² Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. The first tourist hotel was built in 1965 followed by the construction of Fuerteventura Airport at El Mattoral, heralding the dawn of a new era for the island. Fuerteventura, with its 3,000 sunshine hours a year, was placed firmly on the world stage as a major European holida...

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Theme Week Mexico

Theme Week Mexico

[caption id="attachment_213466" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Cancun and the Riviera Maya © Mardetanha - www.safainla.us/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mexico, officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico has approximately 129 million i...

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BIQ, the world's first building with a bioreactor façade

BIQ, the world's first building with a bioreactor façade

[caption id="attachment_153736" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © iba-hamburg.de / Splitterwerk, Graz[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Natural, efficient and unique: the BIQ is setting new standards as the first building in the world to have a bioreactor façade. Microalgae are cultivated in the glass elements that make up its “bio skin”. These are used to produce energy, and can also control light and provide shade. Inside, an innovative living concept is aimed at ensuring maximum design versatility for everyday life, and gives ...

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Theme Week Vatican City

Theme Week Vatican City

[caption id="attachment_191860" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Palace of the Governorate of the Vatican City State © Staselnik/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Vatican City is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes). With an area of 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest state in ...

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Schwaebisch Hall in the Kocher Valley

Schwaebisch Hall in the Kocher Valley

[caption id="attachment_154322" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Historic town centre © Re-Zensor[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Schwäbisch Hall (or Hall for short) is a town in the state of Baden-Württemberg and capital of the district of Schwäbisch Hall. The town is located in the valley of the river Kocher in the north-eastern part of Baden-Württemberg. The first part of the name, "Schwäbisch" refers to the name of the region, Swabia. The most probable origin of the second part of the name "Hall" is a west Germanic word fami...

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Savona on the Riviera di Ponente

Savona on the Riviera di Ponente

[caption id="attachment_160175" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Harbor of Savona © Mstyslav Chernov - mstyslav-chernov.com/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Savona is a seaport and comune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona, in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea, with 62,000 inhabitants. Savona used to be one of the chief seats of the Italian iron industry, having iron-works and foundries, shipbuilding, railway workshops, engineering shops, and a brass foundry. ...

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Vancouver Island in British Columbia

Vancouver Island in British Columbia

[caption id="attachment_151839" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Oak Bay © flickr.com - rpaterso/cc-by-sa-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Vancouver Island, located in British Columbia, Canada, is the largest Pacific island east of New Zealand. Originally called Quadra and Vancouver Island after Spanish navigator Juan de la Bodega y Quadra and British navy officer George Vancouver, the island was first explored by British and Spanish expeditions in the late 18th century. The former's name was eventually dropped and it has since be...

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Trento, capital of Trentino

Trento, capital of Trentino

[caption id="attachment_160612" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Piazza Duomo © flickr.com - hidden simmetry[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Trento is an Italian city located in the Adige River valley in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. It is the capital of Trentino. In the 16th century the city was the location of the Council of Trent. Trento is a major educational, scientific, financial and political centre in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Northern Italy in general. The University of Trento ranks highly out of Italy's top...

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Quinta da Regaleira in Portugal

Quinta da Regaleira in Portugal

[caption id="attachment_210328" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Quinta da Regaleira is a quinta located near the historic centre of Sintra, Portugal. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the "Cultural Landscape of Sintra". Along with the other palaces in the area such as the Quinta do Relógio, Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces, it is considered one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. The property consists of a Romantic palace and chapel,...

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