St. John’s in Newfoundland

22 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill © - Michel Rathwell/cc-by-2.0

Cabot Tower on Signal Hill © – Michel Rathwell/cc-by-2.0

St. John’s is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. The city spans 446.04 km² (172.22 sq mi) and is the easternmost city in North America (excluding Greenland). Its name has been attributed to the belief that John Cabot sailed into the harbour on the Nativity of John the Baptist in 1497, although it is most likely a legend that came with British settlement. A more realistic possibility is that a fishing village with the same name existed without a permanent settlement for most of the 16th century. Indicated as São João on a Portuguese map from 1519, it is one of the oldest cities in North America. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1888. With a metropolitan population of approximately 212,579 (as of February 9, 2022), the St. John’s Metropolitan Area is Canada’s 20th-largest metropolitan area and the second-largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Atlantic Canada, after Halifax. The city has a rich history, having played a role in the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in St. John’s. Its history and culture have made it into an important tourist destination. St. John’s was referred to in Irish as Baile Sheáin (Johnstown), in the poetry of Donnchadh Ruadh Mac Conmara (1715–1810), and among speakers of the Irish language in Newfoundland.   read more…

Theme Week Los Angeles – Santa Catalina Island

30 March 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Greater Los Angeles Area, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Catalina Casino and Avalon Bay © - Justin Ennis/cc-by-2.0

Catalina Casino and Avalon Bay © – Justin Ennis/cc-by-2.0

Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island off the coast of the U.S. state of California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina. The island is 22 miles (35 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) across at its greatest width. The island is located about 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of Los Angeles. The highest point on the island is 2,097 feet (639 m) Mt. Orizaba. Santa Catalina is part of the Channel Islands of California archipelago and lies within Los Angeles County. The total population is at 4,100 people, 90 percent of whom live in the island’s only incorporated city, Avalon (named after Avalon from King Arthur). The second center of population is the unincorporated village of Two Harbors at the island’s isthmus. Development occurs also at the smaller settlements of Rancho Escondido and Middle Ranch. The remaining population is scattered over the island between the two population centers.   read more…

Glastonbury in Somerset

17 October 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Glastonbury from the Tor © Adrian Pingstone

Glastonbury from the Tor © Adrian Pingstone

Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, situated at a dry point on the low lying Somerset Levels, 23 miles (37 km) south of Bristol. The town, which is in the Mendip district, had a population of 8,784 in the 2001 census. Glastonbury is less than 1 mile (2 km) across the River Brue from Street, which is now larger than Glastonbury.   read more…

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