The MSC Musica

1 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month

at Santorini, Greece © A. Stumpf/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

at Santorini, Greece © A. Stumpf/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

The MSC Musica is a cruise ship belonging to MSC Cruises. It was christened in Venice by the Italian actress Sophia Loren in June 2006 and went on its maiden voyage on July 1. The ship has four different restaurants, a sushi bar, an 800 m² casino, the Havana Club smoking room and a theater 1200 seats and a discotheque, as well as a tennis and a mini golf course. Other features:   read more…

Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades

1 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Greater Los Angeles Area, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions

© Bobak Ha'Eri/cc-by-3.0

© Bobak Ha’Eri/cc-by-3.0

The Getty Villa is at the easterly end of the Malibu coast in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. One of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The collection has 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. The UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation is housed on this campus.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand – Chiang Mai

29 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Tinsulanonda Library © FreeGenius

Tinsulanonda Library © FreeGenius

Chiang Mai, sometimes written as Chiengmai or Chiangmai, is the largest city in northern Thailand and the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It is 700 km (435 mi) north of Bangkok near the highest mountains in the country. The provincial capital is the economic and cultural center of the north. The city is also called the Rose of the North because of its scenic beauty. Chiang Mai is the center of Thai handicrafts. Wood processing, textile production and the processing of jade jewelry in particular are important branches of the economy. In addition, tourism is an important source of income for many people. Chiang Mai hosts many Thai festivals. In early December 2017, Chiang Mai was awarded the UNESCO title of Creative City. In 2015, Chiang Mai was on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage inscription. Chiang Mai was one of two tourist destinations in Thailand on TripAdvisor‘s 2014 list of “25 Best Destinations in the World”, where it stands at number 24.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand – Surat Thani

28 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Marinapark © panoramio.com - Ralf Schmidt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Marinapark © panoramio.com – Ralf Schmidt/cc-by-sa-3.0

Surat Thani is a city in Amphoe Mueang Surat Thani, Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand. It lies 651 km south of Bangkok. It is the capital of Surat Thani Province. The city has a population of 130,000, and an area of 68.97 square kilometers. The city’s population density is 1,858.47 inhabitants per km².   read more…

Bayfront Park in Miami

28 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Panoramic view of Bayfront Park during the 2013 Ultra Music Festival © Robert Giordano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Panoramic view of Bayfront Park during the 2013 Ultra Music Festival © Robert Giordano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bayfront Park is a 32-acre (13 ha) public, urban park in Downtown Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay. The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi. Today, Bayfront Park is maintained by the Bayfront Park Management Trust, a limited agency of the city of Miami.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand – Nonthaburi

27 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Wat Chotikaram © Archy36/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wat Chotikaram © Archy36/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nonthaburi is the principal city of the district and province of the same name in Thailand. It has city municipality (thesaban nakhon) status and covers five subdistricts (tambon) of Mueang Nonthaburi District: Suan Yai, Talat Khwan, Bang Khen, Bang Kraso and Tha Sai. As of January 2012, it has a registered population of 259,000, making it the most populous city municipality in Thailand (excluding Bangkok). Due to its location close to Bangkok the city is considered a suburb of Bangkok, part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area, or Greater Bangkok. Nonthaburi is served by public transport systems including the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority bus system, the Chao Phraya Express Boat, and the newly opened MRT Purple Line.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand – Hat Yai

26 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Klong Hae floating market © Fisher - viewology.net/cc-by-sa-3.0

Klong Hae floating market © Fisher – viewology.net/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hat Yai is a city in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. It is 946 km (588 mi) south of Bangkok, and has a population of 159,000 in the city itself and about 800,000 in the greater Hat Yai area. Hat Yai is the largest city of Songkhla Province, the largest metropolitan area in the south, and the third largest metropolitan area of the country. It is often mistaken for being the provincial capital. In fact, Songkhla is the capital and the center of administration and culture while Hat Yai is the business center. The name “Hat Yai” is a short version of “mahat yai”, meaning big mahat tree, a relative of jackfruits in genus Artocarpus.   read more…

Portrait: The novelist and short-story writer Franz Kafka

26 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Franz Kafka in 1923 © Archiv Frans Wagenbach

Franz Kafka in 1923 © Archiv Frans Wagenbach

Franz Kafka was a German-speaking Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle). The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those found in his writing.   read more…

Theme Week Thailand – Udon Thani

25 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Chinese Shrine © Stefan Fussan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Chinese Shrine © Stefan Fussan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Udon Thani is one of the four major cities (Khorat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, and Khon Kaen) of the Isan region, Thailand, (known as the “big four of Isan”). It is the capital of Udon Thani Province. Udon is approximately 560 km from Bangkok. Udon is a major official and commercial center in northern Isan, Thailand, and the gateway to Laos, northern Vietnam, and southern China. Some of the revenue from tourism is related to tourists going to and/or coming from the archaeological site Ban Chiang (forty-seven kilometres from the city).   read more…

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