Theme Week Navarre

21 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  10 minutes

Parliament of Navarre in Pamplona © Mgoni4

Parliament of Navarre in Pamplona © Mgoni4

Navarre, officially the Chartered Community of Navarre, is a foral autonomous community and province in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Autonomous Community, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Nouvelle-Aquitaine in France. The capital city is Pamplona. The present-day province makes up the majority of the territory of the medieval Kingdom of Navarre, a long-standing Pyrenean kingdom that occupied lands on both sides of the western Pyrenees, with its northernmost part, Lower Navarre, located in the southwest corner of France. Navarre is in the transition zone between Green Spain and semi-arid interior areas, and thus its landscapes vary widely across the region. Being in a transition zone also produces a highly variable climate, with summers that are a mix of cooler spells and heat waves, and winters that are mild for the latitude. Navarre is one of the historic Basque districts: its Basque features are conspicuous in the north, but virtually absent on the southern fringes. The best-known event in Navarre is the annual festival of San Fermín held in Pamplona in July. Navarre is one of the wealthiest regions in Spain per capita, with a diversified economy primarily focused on the energy sector, healthcare services and manufacturing.   read more…

Theme Week Ticino

24 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ticino, sometimes Tessin, officially the Republic and Canton of Ticino or less formally the Canton of Ticino, is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of eight districts and its capital city is Bellinzona. It is also traditionally divided into the Sopraceneri and the Sottoceneri, respectively north and south of Monte Ceneri. Red and blue are the colours of its flag.   read more…

Theme Week Greenland

19 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  18 minutes

Nuussuaq district in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, with Sermitsiaq mountain in the background © Oliver Schauf

Nuussuaq district in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, with Sermitsiaq mountain in the background © Oliver Schauf

Greenland is an island country that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Greenland is the world’s largest island, it is one of three constituent countries that form the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark and the Faroe Islands; the citizens of these countries are all Danish nationals. Greenland is divided into five municipalities: Sermersooq, Kujalleq, Qeqqata, Qeqertalik and Avannaata. The northeast of the island composes the unincorporated Northeast Greenland National Park. Thule Air Base is also unincorporated, an enclave within Avannaata municipality administered by the United States Space Force. Greenland’s capital is Nuuk. Though a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe (specifically Norway and Denmark, the colonial powers) for more than a millennium, beginning in 986. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors migrated from Alaska through Northern Canada, gradually settling across the island by the 13th century.   read more…

Theme Week Lapland

22 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  11 minutes

Pallastunturi hills in Pallas-Yllästunturin National Park © Petr Vodička/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pallastunturi hills in Pallas-Yllästunturin National Park © Petr Vodička/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lapland is the largest and northernmost region of Finland. The 21 municipalities in the region cooperate in a Regional Council. Lapland borders the region of North Ostrobothnia in the south. It also borders the Gulf of Bothnia, Norrbotten County in Sweden, Troms and Finnmark County in Norway, and Murmansk Oblast and the Republic of Karelia in Russia. Topography varies from vast mires and forests of the South to fells in the North. The Arctic circle crosses Lapland, so polar phenomena such as the midnight sun and polar night can be seen in Lapland.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus

25 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Victory Square in Minsk © Mikkalai

Victory Square in Minsk © Mikkalai

Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq mi) and with a population of 9.3 million, Belarus is the 13th-largest and the 20th-most populous country in Europe. The country is administratively divided into seven regions. Minsk is the capital and largest city.   read more…

Theme Week Lithuania

20 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Vilnius © Diliff/cc-by-sa-3.0

Vilnius © Diliff/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest. It has a maritime border with Sweden to the west on the Baltic Sea. Lithuania covers an area of 65,300 km² (25,200 sq mi), with a population of 2.8 million. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius; other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts and speak Lithuanian, one of only a few living Baltic languages.   read more…

Theme Week Latvia

23 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Historic centre of Riga, an UNESCO World Heritage Site © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km² (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 1.9 million. The country has a temperate seasonal climate. Its capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts; and speak Latvian, one of the only two surviving Baltic languages. Russians are the most prominent minority in the country, at almost a quarter of the population.   read more…

Theme Week Estonia

25 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

The Estonian Song Festival is UNESCO's Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity © A. Palu/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

The Estonian Song Festival is UNESCO’s Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
© A. Palu/cc-by-sa-3.0-ee

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. The territory of Estonia consists of the mainland, the larger islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, and over 2,200 other islands and islets on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,339 square kilometres (17,505 sq mi). The capital city Tallinn and Tartu are the two largest urban areas of the country. The Estonian language is the autochthonous and the official language of Estonia; it is the first language of the majority of its people, as well as the world’s second most spoken Finnic language.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway

21 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Connemara National Park from Diamond Hill © Karie Kuiper/cc-by-sa-4.0

Connemara National Park from Diamond Hill © Karie Kuiper/cc-by-sa-4.0

County Galway (Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is in the West of Ireland, taking up the south of the province of Connacht. There are several Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The traditional county includes, and is named for, the city of Galway, but the city and county are separate local government areas, administered by the local authorities of Galway City Council in the urban area and Galway County Council in the rest of the county. The population of the county was 258,058 at the 2016 census.   read more…

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