Theme Week China – Foshan

24 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Downtown of Guicheng © Lindley/cc-by-sa-3.0

Downtown of Guicheng © Lindley/cc-by-sa-3.0

Foshan, formerly romanized as Fatshan, is a prefecture-level city in central Guangdong Province, China. The entire prefecture covers 3,848.49 km² (1,485.91 sq mi) and has an urban population around 7.1 million. It forms part of the western side of the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone, which includes Guangzhou to the east and northeast and Zhongshan to the southeast. Foshan is regarded as the home of the Cantonese versions of Chinese opera, kung fu and lion dance. Foshan lies on the Fen River in the estuaries making up the west side of the Pearl River Delta. Guangzhou lies 25 kilometers (16 mi) to the northeast, Zhongshan to the southeast, Jiangmen to the south, Qingyuan to the west, and Zhaoqing to the west.   read more…

Portrait: The architect and founder of the Bauhaus School Walter Gropius

24 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad - René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad – René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture. Gropius was also a leading architect of the International Style.   read more…

Theme Week China – Wuhan

23 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

East Lake © gugganij/cc-by-sa-3.0

East Lake © gugganij/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People’s Republic of China. It’s the most populous city in Central China, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China. It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River‘s intersection with the Han river. Arising out of the conglomeration of three cities, Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, Wuhan is known as ‘China’s Thoroughfare’, it is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city and connecting to other major cities. Because of its key role in domestic transportation, Wuhan is sometimes referred to as “the Chicago of China” by foreign sources.   read more…

The European Union: The Brexit

23 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

Dover - Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover – Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

(Latest update: 11 November 2019) Brexit, not even legally binding (insofar, the Brexit vote has about the same weight as if the British would had voted on the weather, with the result that from now on the sun would have to shine 365 days a year over the island – but at least there would be a chance to get upset about heaven’s mistakes, instead of trying to blame Brussels for any wrong decision by the British government) and at best a recommendation (while the actual conduct of the referendum was a big foolishness by David Cameron, just to calm down a few ultranationalistic backbenchers from within his own party (YouGov, 24 February 2015: Record support for staying in the European Union, Forbes, 20 January 2016: Brexit Is All About Taxation And Regulation Without Representation, The Guardian, 31 August 2017: Will Brexit boost or hurt the economy? (Economists for Free Trade, a pro-Brexit lobby initiative), The Guardian, 17 January 2019: So what is David Cameron really doing now?)), already causes some turbulences even before the actual execution on March 29, 2019, not least because the British government doesn’t have enough experts to negotiate Brexit adequately. Negotiations with third countries are negotiated by Brussels for the EU, so that member countries were able to reduce their competences (in the United Kingdom, 30,000 additional civil servants have to be recruited following Brexit. That’s another reason why the Tories should actually have serial heart attacks). In the case of an exit from the EU, this obviously has a very unfavorable effect on the future third country.   read more…

Theme Week China

22 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Giant Panda © flickr.com - Chen Wu/cc-by-2.0

Giant Panda © flickr.com – Chen Wu/cc-by-2.0

China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world’s most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. According to its constitution, the People’s Republic of China is “under the democratic dictatorship of the people”, but since 1949 authoritarian ruled by the Communist Party of China (CCP), the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. There are 53 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country.   read more…

Burlington in Vermont

22 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Chittenden County Trust Company Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chittenden County Trust Company Building © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0

Burlington is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the seat of Chittenden County. It is located 45 miles (72 km) south of the Canada–United States border and 94 miles (151 km) south of Montreal. The city’s population is at 42,000. Burlington is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, north of Shelburne Bay. It was built on a strip of land extending about 6 miles (9.7 km) south from the mouth of the Winooski River along the lake shore, and rises from the water’s edge to a height of 300 feet (91 m).   read more…

Aveiro, the Venice of Portugal

19 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General

Typical azulejo facades © Andreas Trepte/cc-by-sa-2.5

Typical azulejo facades © Andreas Trepte/cc-by-sa-2.5

Aveiro is a city and a municipality in Portugal. In 2011, the population was 78,450, in an area of 197.58 square kilometres (76.29 sq mi). It is the second most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal (after Coimbra). Along with the neighbouring city of Ílhavo, Aveiro is part of an urban agglomeration that includes 120,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most important populated regions by density in the Centro Region, and primary centre of the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro and Baixo Vouga.   read more…

Da Nang in Vietnam

17 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

L'Indochine Da Nang Hotel © panoramio.com - 嶋耕作/cc-by-3.0

L’Indochine Da Nang Hotel © panoramio.com – 嶋耕作/cc-by-3.0

Da Nang is one of the five largest cities in Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong, and Cần Thơ in terms of urbanization and economy. Located on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River, it is one of Vietnam’s most important port cities. As one of the country’s five direct-controlled municipalities, it is under the direct administration of the central government.   read more…

Tripoli in Lebanon

15 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Tripoli Souk © Bertramz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tripoli Souk © Bertramz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tripoli is the largest city in northern Lebanon and the second-largest city in the country. Situated 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of the capital Beirut, it is the capital of the North Governorate and the Tripoli District. Tripoli overlooks the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and it is the northernmost seaport in Lebanon. It holds a string of four small islands offshore, and they are also the only islands in Lebanon. The Palm Islands were declared a protected area because of their status of haven for endangered loggerhead turtles, rare monk seals and migratory birds.   read more…

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