Theme Week Outer Hebrides – Lewis and Harris

26 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Stornoway © PaulT (Gunther Tschuch)/cc-by-sa-4.0

Stornoway © PaulT (Gunther Tschuch)/cc-by-sa-4.0

Lewis and Harris (Scottish Gaelic: Leòdhas agus Na Hearadh; Scots: Lewis an Harris), or Lewis with Harris, is a single Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides, divided by mountains. It is the largest island in Scotland and the third largest in the British Isles, after Great Britain and the island of Ireland, with an area of 841 square miles (2,178 km²), which is approximately 1% of the area of Great Britain. The northern two-thirds is called [the Isle of] Lewis and the southern third [the Isle of] Harris; each is referred to as if it were a separate island and there are many cultural and linguistic differences between the two. The main town of the island and the most important town in the Outer Hebrides is Stornoway.   read more…

Theme Week Outer Hebrides – Benbecula

25 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Benbecula Beach © geograph.org.uk - Richard Webb/cc-by-sa-2.0

Benbecula Beach © geograph.org.uk – Richard Webb/cc-by-sa-2.0

Benbecula (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn nam Fadhla or Beinn na Faoghla) is an island of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Scotland. In the 2011 census, it had a resident population of 1,283 with a sizable percentage of Roman Catholics. It is in a zone administered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar or the Western Isles Council. The island is about 12 kilometres (7 miles) from west to east and a similar distance from north to south. It lies between the islands of North Uist and South Uist and is connected to both by road causeways. Benbecula’s main settlement and administrative centre is Balivanich (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a’ Mhanaich, meaning “Town of the Monk”).   read more…

Theme Week Outer Hebrides – Great Bernera

24 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Camas Bostadh beach © geograph.org.uk - Anne Burgess/cc-by-sa-2.0

Camas Bostadh beach © geograph.org.uk – Anne Burgess/cc-by-sa-2.0

Great Bernera (Scottish Gaelic: Beàrnaraigh Mòr), often known just as Bernera (Scottish Gaelic: Beàrnaraigh), is an island and community in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. With an area of just over 21 square kilometres (8 square miles), it is the thirty-fourth largest Scottish island.   read more…

Theme Week Outer Hebrides – Barra

23 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Kisimul Castle and Castlebay © flickr.com - Tom Parnell/cc-by-sa-2.0

Kisimul Castle and Castlebay © flickr.com – Tom Parnell/cc-by-sa-2.0

Barra (Scottish Gaelic: Barraigh or Eilean Bharraigh; Scots: Barra) is an island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and the second southernmost inhabited island there, after the adjacent island of Vatersay to which it is connected by the Vatersay Causeway. The island is named after Saint Finbarr of Cork. In 2011, the population was 1,174. Gaelic is widely spoken, and at the 2011 Census, there were 761 Gaelic speakers (62% of the population).   read more…

Theme Week Outer Hebrides – North Uist

22 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Traditional cottage © geograph.org.uk - Tom Richardson/cc-by-sa-2.0

Traditional cottage © geograph.org.uk – Tom Richardson/cc-by-sa-2.0

North Uist (Scottish Gaelic: Uibhist a Tuath; Scots: North Uise) is an island and community in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. North Uist is the tenth-largest Scottish island and the thirteenth-largest island surrounding Great Britain. It has an area of 117 square miles (303 square kilometres), slightly smaller than South Uist.   read more…

Theme Week Outer Hebrides

21 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  7 minutes

Kisimul Castle, Castlebay, Isle of Barra © flickr.com - Conor Lawless/cc-by-2.0

Kisimul Castle, Castlebay, Isle of Barra © flickr.com – Conor Lawless/cc-by-2.0

The Outer Hebrides or Western Isles (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar or Na h-Eileanan an Iar or Na h-Innse Gall (“islands of the strangers”); Scots: Waster Isles), sometimes known as the Long Isle/Long Island (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Fada), is an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The islands are geographically coextensive with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, one of the 32 unitary council areas of Scotland. They form part of the archipelago of the Hebrides, separated from the Scottish mainland and from the Inner Hebrides by the waters of the Minch, the Little Minch, and the Sea of the Hebrides. Scottish Gaelic is the predominant spoken language, although in a few areas English speakers form a majority.   read more…

Theme Week Auvergne – Le Puy-en-Velay

29 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Chapel Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe © W. Bulach/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chapel Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe © W. Bulach/cc-by-sa-4.0

Le Puy-en-Velay (literally Le Puy in Velay; Occitan: Lo Puèi de Velai) is the prefecture of the Haute-Loire department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. Located near the river Loire, the city is famous for its cathedral, for a kind of lentil, for its lace-making, as well as for being the origin of the Chemin du Puy, one of the principal origin points of the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela in France. In 2017, the commune had a population of 18,995.   read more…

Theme Week Auvergne – Issoire

28 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Town Hall © Krzysztof Golik/cc-by-sa-4.0

Town Hall © Krzysztof Golik/cc-by-sa-4.0

Issoire is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France. Issoire is located on the river Couze, near its confluence with the Allier, 40 km (25 mi) SSE of Clermont-Ferrand on the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée railway to Nîmes. Issoire is situated in one of the fertile plains of the Petites Limagnes—basins that follow the Allier from its source in the Massif Central to the Grande Limagne north of Clermont-Ferrand and on to the Loire.   read more…

Theme Week Auvergne – Montluçon

27 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Château of the Dukes of Bourbon © Lionel Allorge/cc-by-sa-3.0

Château of the Dukes of Bourbon © Lionel Allorge/cc-by-sa-3.0

Montluçon (Occitan: Montleçon) is a commune in central France on the river Cher. It is the largest commune in the Allier department, although the department’s prefecture is located in the smaller town of Moulins. Its inhabitants are known as Montluçonnais. The town is in the traditional province of Bourbonnais and was part of the mediaeval duchy of Bourbon. Montluçon is located in the northwest of the Allier department near the frontier of the Centre-Val de Loire and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions.   read more…

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