São Miguel Island, the largest island of the Azores

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

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

Fonte de Buraco Belvedere overlooking the village of Maia © José Luís Ávila Silveira/Pedro Noronha e Costa

São Miguel Island, nicknamed “The Green Island” (Ilha Verde), is the largest and most populous island in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The island covers 760 km² (290 sq mi) and has around 140,000 inhabitants, with 45,000 people residing in Ponta Delgada, the archipelago’s largest city. The ancient laurisilva forest has mostly been replaced by cultivated fields and imported trees and plants, such as the ubiquitous cryptomeria trees. There are some hot springs (caldeiras), generally located in the center of the island, in the area stretching from Povoação to Nordeste. The highest elevation on São Miguel is the Pico da Vara at 1,103 metres (3,619 ft). Lying at the eastern end of the island, it is the focus of a Special Protection Area containing the largest remnant of laurisilva forest on the island, which is home to the endemic and critically endangered bird, the Azores bullfinch. Whale watching tours, starting from Ponta Delgada and Vila Franca do Campo are available. One may see sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.   read more…

Lower New York Bay

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

Brighton Beach © Billy Hathorn/cc-by-sa-3.0

Brighton Beach © Billy Hathorn/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lower New York Bay is a section of New York Bay south of the Narrows, the relatively narrow strait between the shores of Staten Island and Brooklyn. The southern end of the bay opens directly to the Atlantic Ocean between two spits of land, Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and Rockaway, Queens, on Long Island. The southern portion between Staten Island and New Jersey, at the mouth of the Raritan River, is named Raritan Bay. The Hudson Canyon, the ancient riverbed of the Hudson River which existed during the last ice age when the ocean levels were lower, extends southeast from Lower New York Bay for hundreds of miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The nearby part of the Atlantic Ocean between New Jersey and Long Island is the New York Bight.   read more…

Haulover Park in Florida

30 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Miami / South Florida

Haulover Beach at north Miami Beach © flickr.com - Infrogmation of New Orleans/cc-by-2.0

Haulover Beach at north Miami Beach © flickr.com – Infrogmation of New Orleans/cc-by-2.0

Haulover Park is a 177-acre (72 ha) urban park owned and operated by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department, located in metropolitan Miami, just north of Bal Harbour, Florida. The park is located on a shoal between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, just north of the Broad Causeway (SR 922) and Collins Avenue.   read more…

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

16 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© BenSlivka/cc-by-sa-4.0

© BenSlivka/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Hassan II Mosque (Grande Mosquée Hassan II) is a mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest functioning mosque in Africa and is the 7th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s second tallest minaret at 210 metres (689 ft). Completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau under the guidance of King Hassan II and built by Moroccan artisans from all over the kingdom. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca. The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean; worshippers can pray over the sea but there is no glass floor looking into the sea. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside ground.   read more…

The Narrows in New York

11 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

One World Trade Center, Upper New York Bay, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Staten Island © flickr.com - Anthony Quintano/cc-by-2.0

One World Trade Center, Upper New York Bay, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Staten Island
© flickr.com – Anthony Quintano/cc-by-2.0

The Narrows is the tidal strait separating the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City. It connects the Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay and forms the principal channel by which the Hudson River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It has long been considered to be the maritime “gateway” to New York City and historically has been one of the most important entrances into the harbors of the Port of New York and New Jersey.   read more…

Island of Gorée

5 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

© Inextre/cc-by-sa-3.0-es

© Inextre/cc-by-sa-3.0-es

Île de Gorée is one of the 19 communes d’arrondissement (i.e. districts) of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It is an 18.2-hectare (45-acre) island located 2 kilometres (1.1 nmi; 1.2 mi) at sea from the main harbour of Dakar, famous as a destination for people interested in the Atlantic slave trade although its actual role in the history of the slave trade is the subject of dispute. Its population as of the 2013 census was 1,680 inhabitants, giving a density of 5,802 inhabitants per square kilometre (15,030/sq mi), which is only half the average density of the city of Dakar. Gorée is both the smallest and the least populated of the 19 communes d’arrondissement of Dakar. Other important centres for the slave trade from Senegal were further north, at Saint-Louis, Senegal, or to the south in the Gambia, at the mouths of major rivers for trade. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name is a corruption of its original Dutch name Goedereede, meaning “good roadstead“.   read more…

Hudson Bay in Canada

20 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Polar bear walking © flickr.com - Emma/cc-by-2.0

Polar bear walking © flickr.com – Emma/cc-by-2.0

Hudson Bay (sometimes called Hudson’s Bay, usually historically) is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada with a surface area of 1,230,000 km² (470,000 sq mi). Although not geographically apparent, it is for climatic reasons considered to be a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It drains a very large area, about 3,861,400 km² (1,490,900 sq mi), that includes parts of southeastern Nunavut, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, all of Manitoba and indirectly through smaller passages of water parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. Hudson Bay’s southern arm is called James Bay. The Eastern Cree name for Hudson and James Bay is Wînipekw (Southern dialect) or Wînipâkw (Northern dialect), meaning muddy or brackish water. Lake Winnipeg is similarly named by the local Cree, as is the location for the city of Winnipeg.   read more…

Île d’Yeu on the French Atlantic coast

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

Port-Joinville © OT iledyeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

Port-Joinville © OT iledyeu/cc-by-sa-4.0

Île d’Yeu is an island and commune just off the Vendée coast of western France. The island’s two harbours, Port-Joinville in the north, and Port de la Meule, which itself is located in a rocky inlet of the southern granite coast, are famous for the fishing of tuna and lobster. Administratively, the commune of L’Île-d’Yeu is part of the Vendée department and the Pays de la Loire region of France. The island is reached by ferry from Fromentine or Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Air transportation is available at Île d’Yeu Aerodrome, with commercial service from Nantes Airport.   read more…

Asbury Park in New Jersey

8 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Asbury Park Boardwalk © Sk5893/cc-by-sa-3.0

Asbury Park Boardwalk © Sk5893/cc-by-sa-3.0

Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area with a population of about 15,500. It was ranked the sixth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.   read more…

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