Lagos City in Nigeria

7 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Sunset at Landmark Beach © Kwadoskii/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sunset at Landmark Beach © Kwadoskii/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lagos (Yoruba: Èkó) or Lagos City is the most populous city in Nigeria, with an estimated population of 21 million in 2015. Lagos is the most populous urban area in Africa. Lagos was the national capital of Nigeria until December 1991 following the government‘s decision to move their capital to Abuja in the centre of the country. Lagos is a major African financial centre and is the economic hub of Lagos State and Nigeria at large. The city has a significant influence on commerce, entertainment, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, and fashion in Africa. Lagos is also among the top ten of the world’s fastest-growing cities and urban areas. The megacity has the fourth-highest GDP in Africa and houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent. Due to the large urban population and port traffic volumes, Lagos is classified as a Medium-Port Megacity.   read more…

Unst, the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles

6 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Viking ship, Skibladner © Unstphoto/cc-by-sa-4.0

Viking ship, Skibladner © Unstphoto/cc-by-sa-4.0

Unst (Scots: Unst; Norn: Ønst) is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third-largest island in Shetland after Mainland and Yell. It has an area of 46 sq mi (120 km²).   read more…

Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin

5 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Jean Housen/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Jean Housen/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Shelbourne Hotel is a historic hotel in Dublin, Ireland, situated in a landmark building on the north side of St Stephen’s Green. Currently owned by Kennedy Wilson and operated by Marriott International, the hotel has 265 rooms in total and reopened in March 2007 after undergoing an eighteen-month refurbishment.   read more…

Evesham in Worcestershire

4 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Nilfanion/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Nilfanion/cc-by-sa-4.0

Evesham is a market town and parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire, in the West Midlands region of England. It is located roughly equidistant between Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon. It lies within the Vale of Evesham, an area comprising the flood plain of the River Avon, which has been renowned for market gardening. The town centre, situated within a meander of the river, is subjected regularly to flooding. The 2007 floods were the most severe in recorded history.   read more…

If Day in Winnipeg

3 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Give Us The Tools © Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-585

Give Us The Tools © Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-30-585

If Day (French: “Si un jour”, “If one day”) was a simulated Nazi German invasion and occupation of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and surrounding areas on 19 February 1942, during the Second World War. It was organized as a war bond promotion by the Greater Winnipeg Victory Loan organization, which was led by prominent Winnipeg businessman J. D. Perrin. The event was the largest military exercise in Winnipeg to that point.   read more…

Pinar del Río in Cuba

2 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Teatro Milanés © Mmoyaq/cc-by-sa-3.0

Teatro Milanés © Mmoyaq/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pinar del Río is the capital city of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba. With a population of 191,081 (2022), it is the 10th-largest city in Cuba. Inhabitants of the area are called Pinareños. The city is located in a major tobacco-growing area and is a centre of the cigar industry. The main farming animal in this province is the carabao.   read more…

Hôtel du Palais Biarritz

1 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Hotels Reading Time:  11 minutes

© - Dennis Jarvis/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Dennis Jarvis/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Hôtel du Palais Biarritz is a historic luxury hotel beside the Atlantic beach in the resort town of Biarritz, on the Côte Basque in the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It was originally built for the Empress Eugénie around 1855 as a summer villa. It was due to the visits of the imperial couple that the village of Biarritz developed into a fashionable resort. In 1880, the villa was sold and converted into a hotel casino. It was devastated by fire in 1903, but was lavishly rebuilt and enlarged within the original walls. For many years the hotel attracted the international elite, including members of the European royalty such as King Edward VII, who paid several extended visits. Although the hotel later fell into disrepair, and closed for a period in the 1950s, it has since been refurbished and is again a luxury hotel. The hotel is managed by Hyatt.   read more…

Hangover remedies

1 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon appétit Reading Time:  7 minutes

Bloody Mary © - Bharat Mirchandani/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bloody Mary © – Bharat Mirchandani/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hangover remedies consist of foods, dishes, and medicines, that have been described as having a theoretical potential for easing or alleviating symptoms associated with the hangover. Various folk medicine remedies exist for hangovers. The ancient Romans, on the authority of Pliny the Elder, favored raw owl‘s eggs or fried canary as a hangover remedy, while the “prairie oyster” restorative, introduced at the 1878 Paris World Exposition, calls for raw egg yolk mixed with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. By 1938, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel provided a hangover remedy in the form of a mixture of Coca-Cola and milk (Coca-Cola itself having been invented, by some accounts, as a hangover remedy). Alcoholic writer Ernest Hemingway relied on tomato juice and beer.   read more…

Simple Sabotage Field Manual (1944) by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), predecessor organization to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

31 December 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, EU blog post series, European Union Reading Time:  4 minutes

OSS pin © - The Central Intelligence Agency

OSS pin © – The Central Intelligence Agency

The Second World War era Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the forerunner of today’s CIA. During the war the organisation planned and executed thousands of covert operations behind enemy lines from North Africa to Europe to Asia.   read more…

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