The Royal Princess

1 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

Royal Princess in Antigua © flickr.com - Ian Gratton/cc-by-2.0

Royal Princess in Antigua © flickr.com – Ian Gratton/cc-by-2.0

Royal Princess is a Royal-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, and is the third ship to sail for the cruise line under that name. The largest ship to have been built for Princess at the time of delivery in 2013, she became the flagship of Princess. As the lead vessel of the Royal class, she lends her name to the company’s Royal class, which will consist of six ships upon the last ship’s delivery in 2021. The ship measures 142,714 GT and has a capacity of 3,560 passengers.   read more…

The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

1 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Bete Giyorgis © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bete Giyorgis © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela are monolithic churches located in the Western Ethiopian Highlands near the town of Lalibela, named after the late-12th and early-13th century King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty, who commissioned the massive building project of 11 rock-hewn churches to recreate the holy city of Jerusalem in his own kingdom. The site remains in use by the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church to this day, and it remains an important place of pilgrimage for Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers. It took 24 years to build all the eleven rock hewn churches. The site of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela was first included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.   read more…

Malkhei Yisrael Street in West Jerusalem

1 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  10 minutes

Morning shoppers © Yoninah/cc-by-sa-3.0

Morning shoppers © Yoninah/cc-by-sa-3.0

Malkhei Yisrael Street (lit. “Kings of Israel Street”), also spelled Malchei Yisrael, is an east-west street in the Geula neighborhood of north-central West Jerusalem. Its eastern flank, which abuts Mea Shearim Street at an intersection called Kikar HaShabbat (Sabbath Square), is the main shopping district for Haredi Jewish residents of northern West Jerusalem. The remainder of the street, which extends to Sarei Yisrael Street at its western end, includes the historic Schneller Compound and numerous Haredi and Hasidic yeshivas, girls’ schools, and synagogues.   read more…

Leshan Giant Buddha in China

30 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Ariel Steiner/cc-by-sa-2.5

© Ariel Steiner/cc-by-sa-2.5

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang dynasty. It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below its feet. It is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.   read more…

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war

29 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  2 minutes

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war © Wiki Commons

Towns and villages depopulated during the 1947–1949 Palestine war © Wiki Commons

During the 1947–1949 Palestine war around 400 Arab towns and villages were depopulated, with a majority being entirely destroyed and left uninhabitable (Nakba). Today these locations are in Israel; many of the locations were repopulated by Jewish immigrants, with their place names replaced with new Hebrew place names.   read more…

Theme Week County Cork – Glengarriff

27 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Andreas F.  Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

Glengarriff (Irish: Gleann Garbh, meaning ‘rough glen’) is a village of approximately 140 people on the N71 national secondary road in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. Known internationally as a tourism venue, it has a number of natural attractions. It sits at the northern head of Glengarriff Bay, a smaller enclave of Bantry Bay. Located 20 km (~12 miles) west of Bantry, and 30 km (~18 miles) east of Castletownbere, it is a common stopping-point along the routes around the area. Primarily, the economy revolves around a combination of tourism, farming and local services.   read more…

Pingyao Ancient City in China

27 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Rih Sheng Chang Bank © Peellden/cc-by-3.0

Pingyao, officially Pingyao Ancient City, is a settlement in central Shanxi, China, famed for its importance in Chinese economic history and for its well-preserved Ming and Qing urban planning and architecture. Administratively, it comprises the town of Gutao in Pingyao County in Jinzhong Prefecture. It has a population of about 50,000.   read more…

Theme Week County Cork – Mallow

26 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© RuthAS/cc-by-3.0

© RuthAS/cc-by-3.0

Mallow (Irish: >Mala or Magh Eala) is a town in County Cork, Ireland, approximately thirty-five kilometres north of Cork. Mallow is in the barony of Fermoy. It is the administrative centre of north County Cork, and the Northern Divisional Offices of Cork County Council are located in the town. Mallow is part of the Cork East Dáil constituency. Mallow lies on the River Blackwater, and developed as a defensive settlement protecting an important fort on the river. Some of the highest naturally occurring readings of radon ever have been recorded in Mallow, prompting local fears regarding lung cancer.   read more…

Gordes in the Provence

26 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Gordes (Occitan: Gòrda) is a commune in the Vaucluse département in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. The residents are known as Gordiens. The nearest big city is Avignon; smaller cities nearby include Cavaillon, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Apt. The territory of Gordes occupies some of “Les Monts de Vaucluse“, a group of mountains and hills, part in the valley of the Calavon (a local river) also called the “Luberon Valley”. Gordes is part of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“the most beautiful villages of France”).   read more…

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