Colonia Tovar, the Black Forrest village in Venezuela

3 July 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

Colonia Tovar - Hotel Kaiserstuhl © Fev

Colonia Tovar - Hotel Kaiserstuhl © Fev

Colonia Tovar (Tovar Colony) is a city located in the Tovar Municipality of the state of Aragua in Venezuela, 60 km west of Caracas. The town was named after Martín Tovar y Ponte who donated the land over 150 years ago, and was founded by Agostino Codazzi. The city is mainly known for its Germanic characteristics, culture, and a dessert called “golfeado”, which is very similar to a cinnamon bun. Founded in 1843 by German settlers, the city remained isolated from the rest of the world until 1960, a factor that stunted any technological advances and permitted the inhabitants to keep their culture and traditions. The majority of its residents are descendants of Germans and have a Northern European appearance. The Alemannic peasant dialect of German, known as Alemán Coloniero (“colony German”), is becoming more restricted to Black Forest villages in Germany. It is kept alive in Tovar by the many young people from there that spend some time in these villages of their forefathers for vocational training.   read more…

Theme Week Swiss – Gstaad, resort of the jet set

2 July 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Gstaad © Roland Zumbühl

Gstaad © Roland Zumbühl

Gstaad is a village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Berne in southwestern Switzerland. Part of the municipality of Saanen, Gstaad is known as one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world, and has been the location of Institut Le Rosey’s winter campus since 1916. It has a population of 2,500 and is located 1,050 metres (3,440 ft) above sea level.   read more…

Cargo, Geneva, Switzerland / group8

1 July 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Régis Golay - FEDERAL Studio

© Régis Golay – FEDERAL Studio

A former industrial hall, near the center of Geneva (Switzerland), hosts these new offices designed in order to make the best use of the 780 sqm and the 9m of height. This white and luminous space contains a hidden treasure: 16 recycled shipping containers. All of which have been traveling across the world for thousands of kilometers over the oceans of the globe. Piled up as giant Legos, the containers were preserved “as found” without any outside cosmetic transformation. This aesthetic keeps the poetry of their former use and differentiates them from the immateriality of the big neutral space they lie in. Realistically, the use of containers represents a gain of about 200 sqm, while making good use of the height within the space.   read more…

Roman Abramowitschs Mega Yacht Eclipse

1 July 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Hamburg, Superyachts, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  4 minutes

Yacht Eclipse in Hamburg © Hummelhummel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Yacht Eclipse in Hamburg © Hummelhummel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich boasts not only the world’s largest plane (the ‘Bandit’), but also the world’s biggest yacht: a 557-foot mega-boat called the Eclipse, which set sail from the dock of shipyard Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, Germany.   read more…

Belfast in Northern Ireland

30 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

City Hall and the Belfast Wheel © Thardas

City Hall and the Belfast Wheel © Thardas

Belfast (from Irish: Béal Feirste, meaning “mouth of the sandbars”) is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland, as well as the second largest city on the island of Ireland. It is the seat of devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly. The city forms part of the largest urban area in Northern Ireland, and the main settlement in the province of Ulster. The city of Belfast has a population of 268,000 and lies at the heart of the Belfast urban area, which has a population of 483,000. The Larger Urban Zone, as defined by the European Union, has a total population 642,000. Belfast was granted city status in 1888.   read more…

Oxford, city of the dreaming spiers

29 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

High Street shoppers © Doc Searls

High Street shoppers © Doc Searls

Oxford is a city, and the county town of Oxfordshire, in South East England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and meet south of the city centre. For a distance of some 10 miles (16 km) along the river, in the vicinity of Oxford, the Thames is known as the Isis. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford’s university buildings. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the town centre is home to Carfax Tower and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, both of which offer views over the spires of the city. Many tourists shop at the historic Covered Market. In the summer punting on the Thames/Isis and the Cherwell is popular.   read more…

Faro, gate to the Algarve

28 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

City Hall © Osvaldo Gago

City Hall © Osvaldo Gago

Faro is a city in the Faro Municipality in southern Portugal. The city proper has 41,934 inhabitants and the entire municipality has 58,305. It is the seat of the Faro District and capital of the Algarve region. The Algarve and Faro district cover the same territory.   read more…

A Miami Beach Event Space. Parking Space, Too.

25 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Iwan Baan Photography

© Iwan Baan Photography

For her wedding over the weekend, Nina Johnson had worked through a predictable checklist of locations in town: hotel ballrooms, restaurant halls and catering outfits.   read more…

Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley – Château de Blois

24 June 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Château de Blois - Panorama of the interior façades - Classic, Renaissance and Gothic styles © Tango7174

Château de Blois – Panorama of the interior façades – Classic, Renaissance and Gothic styles © Tango7174

The Royal Château de Blois is located in the Loir-et-Cher département in the Loire Valley, in France, in the center of the city of Blois. The residence of several French kings, it is also the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans.   read more…

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