Portrait: Jules Verne, science fiction writer

23 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Félix Nadar (1820-1910) portraits Jules Verne

Félix Nadar (1820-1910) portraits Jules Verne

Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright. His collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a series of bestselling adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1872).   read more…

Theme Week Jutland – Aabenraa

22 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Pedestrian zone © Arne List/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pedestrian zone © Arne List/cc-by-sa-3.0

Aabenraa is a town in Southern Denmark, at the head of the Aabenraa Fjord, an arm of the Little Belt, 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of the Denmark–Germany border and 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of German town of Flensburg. It was the seat of Sønderjyllands Amt (South Jutland County) until 1 January 2007, when the Region of Southern Denmark was created as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform. With a population of 16,425 (1 January 2020), Aabenraa is the largest town and the seat of the Aabenraa Municipality. The name Aabenraa originally meant “open beach” (Danish: åben strand).   read more…

Garden Route in South Africa

22 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Eastern Cape © flickr.com - South African Tourism/cc-by-2.0

Eastern Cape © flickr.com – South African Tourism/cc-by-2.0

The Garden Route is a 300-kilometre (190 mi) stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa which extends from Witsand in the Western Cape to the border of Tsitsikamma Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous estuaries and lakes dotted along the coast. It includes towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay, Great Brak River, Little Brak River, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Nature’s Valley; with George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre. Recently the towns of Albertinia, Riversdale, Heidelberg, Ladismith, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, De Rust and Uniondale have been added to the Garden Route district and municipality.   read more…

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…

Jingdezhen, China’s Porcelain Capital

21 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Shanghai Museum - Underglaze blue lotus-shaped dish with Sanskrit inscriptions, Jingdezhen ware, Wanli Reign, 1573-1620 © Gerbil/cc-by-sa-3.0

Shanghai Museum – Underglaze blue lotus-shaped dish with Sanskrit inscriptions, Jingdezhen ware, Wanli Reign, 1573-1620 © Gerbil/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jingdezhen is a prefecture-level city, in northeastern Jiangxi province, with a total population of 1.7 million (2018), bordering Anhui to the north. It is known as the “Porcelain Capital” because it has been producing Chinese ceramics for at least 1,000 years, and for much of that period Jingdezhen porcelain was the most important and finest quality in China. The city has a well-documented history that stretches back over 2,000 years. Jingdezhen is situated in the north-east of Jiangxi and borders on Anhui; the city center area is located in the north-east of the Poyang Lake Plain. Its area is 5,256 km² (2,029 sq mi). The highest point is 1,618 m (5,308 ft), with plains on the southern part having an average altitude of 200 m (660 ft). There are some cities and counties between Jiangxi and Anhui Province around Jingdezhen. To its north, northwest and northeast are Dongzhi, Xiuning and Qimen County of Anhui province. To its south are Wannian County and Yiyang County. To its west is Poyang County. Lastly, to its southeast are Wuyuan County and Dexing City. Jingdezhen’s natural resources include kaolin, coal, manganese, and lime, but it is the kaolin that has made the city famous in China and the world. For over a millennium, its unique kaolin has enabled Jingdezhen to make high-quality porcelain. (The word “Kaolin” came from “Gaoling” or “Kaoling”, a village located in Ehu Town, Fuliang County, Jingdezhen).   read more…

Macao, Las Vegas of the East

18 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Marina at Macau Fisherman's Wharf © Mfwmarketing/cc-by-sa-4.0

Marina at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf © Mfwmarketing/cc-by-sa-4.0

Macau, also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is a city and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With a population of about 650,000 and an area of 32.9 km² (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world. Macau is a former colony of the Portuguese Empire, after Ming China leased the territory as a trading post in 1557. Portugal paid an annual rent and administered the territory under Chinese sovereignty until 1887, when it gained perpetual colonial rights in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking. The colony remained under Portuguese rule until 1999, when it was transferred to China. Macau is a special administrative region of China, which maintains separate governing and economic systems from those of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems“. Originally a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, the territory has become a major resort city and a top destination for gambling tourism, with a gambling industry seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. The territory is highly urbanised and most development is built on reclaimed land; two-thirds of the total land area is reclaimed from the sea.   read more…

Trapani in Sicily

16 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© flickr.com - Myke Bryan/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Myke Bryan/cc-by-2.0

Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Founded by Elymians, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Aegadian Islands. The city was badly damaged during World War II, when it was subjected to intense Allied bombardments. It has grown greatly since the end of the war, sprawling out virtually to the foot of Monte San Giuliano. Tourism has grown in recent years due to the city’s proximity to popular destinations such as Erice, Segesta, and the Aegadian Islands.   read more…

Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina

14 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Sunset © SaiP/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sunset © SaiP/cc-by-sa-4.0

Kill Devil Hills is a town in Dare County, North Carolina. The population was 6,683 at the 2010 census, up from 5,897 in 2000. It is the most populous settlement in both Dare County and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Kill Devil Hills Micropolitan Statistical Area is part of the larger Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC Combined Statistical Area.   read more…

English Market in Cork

11 December 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Christmas 2017 © Dan Curran/cc-by-sa-4.0

Christmas 2017 © Dan Curran/cc-by-sa-4.0

The English Market (Irish: An Margadh Sasanach) is a municipal food market in the center of Cork City, Ireland. It stretches from Princes Street to the Grand Parade, and combines Princes Street Market and Grand Parade Market. The market is regarded for both its mid-19th century architecture and locally produced artisan food. The market has become a tourist attraction, has developed an international reputation, and has been described by chef Rick Stein as the “best covered market in the UK and Ireland”.   read more…

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