Theme Week Jutland in Denmark

21 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Christmas in Aarhus © flickr.com - EHRENBERG Kommunikation/cc-by-sa-2.0

Christmas in Aarhus © flickr.com – EHRENBERG Kommunikation/cc-by-sa-2.0

Jutland, known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula, is a peninsula of Northern Europe that forms the continental portion of Denmark and part of northern Germany. The names are derived from the Jutes and the Cimbri, respectively. As with the rest of Denmark, Jutland’s terrain is flat, with a slightly elevated ridge down the central parts and relatively hilly terrains in the east. West Jutland is characterised by open lands, heaths, plains and peat bogs, while East Jutland is more fertile with lakes and lush forests. Southwest Jutland is characterised by the Wadden Sea, a large unique international coastal region stretching through Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com - jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com – jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the east by Azerbaijan, and to the south by Armenia and Turkey. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its approximate population is about 4 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.   read more…

Theme Week Moldova

26 October 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

National Enoteca at Cricova © Cepaev/cc-by-sa-3.0

National Enoteca at Cricova © Cepaev/cc-by-sa-3.0

Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The capital city is Chișinău (List of cities and towns in Moldova). Due to a decrease in industrial and agricultural output following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the service sector has grown to dominate Moldova’s economy and is over 60% of the nation’s GDP. It is the poorest country in Europe by GDP per capita, and it has the lowest Human Development Index in the continent.   read more…

Theme Week Laos

21 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Mekong River flowing through Luang Prabang © flickr.com - Allie Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Mekong River flowing through Luang Prabang © flickr.com – Allie Caulfield/cc-by-2.0

Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxôn Lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. At the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast and Thailand to the west and southwest. It is a one-party socialist republic, espousing Marxism–Leninism governed by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, under which non-governmental organizations have routinely characterized the country’s human rights record as poor, citing repeated abuses such as torture, restrictions on civil liberties, and persecution of minorities. There is a distinct rainy season from May to November, followed by a dry season from December to April. Local tradition holds that there are three seasons (rainy, cold and hot) as the latter two months of the climatologically defined dry season are noticeably hotter than the earlier four months. The capital and largest city of Laos is Vientiane and other major cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse (Geography of Laos and List of cities in Laos). In 1993 the Laos government set aside 21 percent of the nation’s land area for habitat conservation preservation. The country is one of four in the opium poppy growing region known as the “Golden Triangle“. According to the October 2007 UNODC fact book Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia, the poppy cultivation area was 15 square kilometres (5.8 sq mi), down from 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi) in 2006.   read more…

Theme Week Luxembourg

24 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Luxemburg City © Streppel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxemburg City © Streppel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerg, French: Luxembourg; German: Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in Western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union (together with Brussels, Frankfurt, and Strasbourg) and the seat of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation’s three official languages: French, German, and the national language of Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country’s strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.   read more…

Theme Week Dordogne

20 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Domme during morning fog © Ghezoart - www.GhezoArt.be/cc-by-sa-3.0

Domme during morning fog © Ghezoart – www.GhezoArt.be/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dordogne is a department in Southwestern France, with its prefecture in Périgueux. The department is located in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and is named after the river Dordogne that runs through it. It corresponds roughly with the historically and culinary significant ancient county of Périgord. It had a population of 416,909 in 2013. The Dordogne department is rich in archaeological sites (Dolmens of Cantegrel, Dolmens Peyre Levade) and caves as well as rock shelter with petroglyphs, rock paintings and sculptures from the Stone Age, troglodytic buildings and villages, as well as other natural caves that are open to the public. Attractions are also some castles, numerous chateaus (list of castles and chateaus in the Dordogne) and various abbeys.   read more…

Theme Week Pakistan

22 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Prime Minister's Secretariat Building in Islamabad © Maqsoodgujjer/cc-by-sa-4.0

Prime Minister’s Secretariat Building in Islamabad © Maqsoodgujjer/cc-by-sa-4.0

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million. By area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.   read more…

Theme Week Afghanistan

25 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID - PD-USGov-Military-Army - PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Landscapes of Afghanistan © PD-USGov-USAID – PD-USGov-Military-Army – PD-USGov-Military-Army-USACE

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country in South and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country’s strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia. The land has historically been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Mauryas, Muslim Arabs, Mongols, British, Soviets, and by the United States with allied countries. The land also served as the source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khaljis, Mughals, Hotaks, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.   read more…

Theme Week Italian Riviera

9 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Vernazza © Charles van Dijk/cc-by-3.0

Vernazza © Charles van Dijk/cc-by-3.0

The Italian Riviera, or Ligurian Riviera, is the narrow coastal strip in Italy which lies between the Ligurian Sea and the mountain chain formed by the Maritime Alps and the Apennines. Longitudinally it extends from the border with France and the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) near Ventimiglia (a former customs post) eastwards to Capo Corvo (also known as Punta Bianca) which marks the eastern end of the Gulf of La Spezia and is close to the regional border between Liguria and Tuscany. The Italian Riviera thus includes nearly all of the coastline of Liguria. Historically the “Riviera” extended further to the west, through what is now French territory as far as Marseille.   read more…

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