Portrait: Marco Polo and the Book of the Marvels of the World

14 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  14 minutes

Travels of Marco Polo - Marco Polo in China

Travels of Marco Polo – Marco Polo in China

Marco Polo (September 15, 1254 – January 8–9, 1324) was a Venetian merchant traveller whose travels are recorded in Livres des merveilles du monde (Book of the Marvels of the World, also known as The Travels of Marco Polo, c. 1300), a book that introduced Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned the mercantile trade from his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia, and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time. The three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa; Marco was imprisoned and dictated his stories to a cellmate. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant, married, and had three children. He died in 1324 and was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Marco Polo was not the first European to reach China (see Europeans in Medieval China), but he was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience. This book inspired Christopher Columbus and many other travellers. There is a substantial literature based on Polo’s writings; he also influenced European cartography, leading to the introduction of the Fra Mauro map.   read more…

The SeaDream I and II

7 November 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Cruise Ships, Superyachts, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

SeaDream II in Pula © Orlovic

SeaDream II in Pula © Orlovic


“It’s yachting, not cruising!”

SeaDream’s twin, luxury mega-yachts “SeaDream I” and “SeaDream II” were designed as prototypes for the ultra-luxury yachting experience. Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favorite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.   read more…

Marmaray: A tunnel connects Europe with Asia

13 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

Marmaray Project © R1410/cc-by-sa-3.0

Marmaray Project © R1410/cc-by-sa-3.0

Marmaray is a rail transport project in the Turkish city of Istanbul. It comprises an undersea rail tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, and the modernization of existing suburban railway lines along the Sea of Marmara from Halkalı on the European side to Gebze on the Asian side. The procurement of new rolling stock for suburban passenger traffic is also part of the project. Construction started in 2004, with an initial target opening date of April 2009. After multiple delays due to historical finds, the first phase of the project opened on October 29, 2013.   read more…

The Bering Strait tunnel linking Asia and North America

27 August 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Bering Strait map © worldarchitecturenews.com

Bering Strait map © worldarchitecturenews.com

London to New York rail journey on horizon

It was first mooted as long ago 1905 by Tsar Nicholas 11, but this week the Kremlin finally gave the green light for a 65 mile (106 km) tunnel linking Asia and North America, taking the epic project a step nearer reality.   read more…

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