Saturday, May 21, 2011

Street of Sighisoara, Romania

Street of Sighisoara, originally uploaded by 23gxg.

Sighişoara (Romanian pronunciation: [siɡiˈʃo̯ara]; German: Schäßburg; Hungarian: Segesvár Hungarian pronunciation: [’ʃɛɡɛʃvaːr]; Latin: Castrum Sex) is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 32,287 (2002)

Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales UK

Portmeirion (2), originally uploaded by -terry-.

Portmeirion is a popular tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust.
Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, most famously serving as The Village in the 1960s television show The Prisoner.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Schloss Moritzburg in Saxony, Germany

Schloss Moritzburg is a Baroque German castle in the small town of Moritzburg in the German state of Saxony. It is located close to the city of Dresden.

It was built from 1542–1546 as a hunting lodge for Duke Moritz of Saxony. The chapel was added between 1661 and 1671 after designs by Wolf Caspar von Klengels and is a fine example of the early Baroque style. Between 1723 and 1733, the castle was remodelled as a pleasure seat with formal park for Augustus II the Strong, elector of Saxony and king of Poland by the architects Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann and Longeloune.

From Wikipedia

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Union Square, San Francisco CA USA

Union Squared, originally uploaded by Troy Holden.

Union Square is a plaza of 2.6 acres (11,000 m2) bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets in San Francisco, California. "Union Square" also refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the Civil War. Today, this one-block plaza and nearby area is one of the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, tourist trinket shops, art galleries, and salons in the United States, which continue to make Union Square a major tourist draw, a vital, cosmopolitan place in downtown San Francisco, and one of the world's premier shopping districts. Grand hotels and small inns, as well as repertory, off-Broadway, and single-act theaters also contribute to the area's dynamic, 24-hour character.

Patagonia Argentina

Patagonia is a geographic region containing the southernmost portion of South America. It is located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the south west towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, it includes the territory of Valdivia through Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native people that his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed the Patagons were actually Tehuelches with an average height of 180 cm (~5′11″) compared to the 155 cm (~5′1″) average for Spaniards of the time.
The Argentine portion of Patagonia (Zona Austral) includes the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut and Santa Cruz, as well as the eastern portion of Tierra del Fuego archipelago . The Argentine politico-economic Patagonic Region includes the Province of La Pampa.
The Chilean part of Patagonia embraces the southern provinces and regions of Valdivia, Los Lagos Region and Greater Island of Chiloé, it includes Puerto Montt and the Archaeological site of Monte Verde, and also the islands south to the regions of Aisén and Magallanes, including the west side of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.

source Wikipedia

Venice - San Marco, Italy

Venice - San Marco, originally uploaded by MorBCN.

The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark (officially known in Italian as the Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco and commonly known as Saint Mark's Basilica) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has only been the city's cathedral since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, formerly at San Pietro di Castello. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold)
source wikipedia

Great Ocean Road, Australia

Great Ocean Road, Australia, originally uploaded by msdstefan.

The Great Ocean Road in the south east of Australia is one of the most scenic roads in the world. This shot was taken near the 12 Apostles and the Collapsed London Bridge. Have a look at my Australia album for more shots from the area.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound (7.000+ views!), originally uploaded by msdstefan.

Milford Sound is the most famous fjord in New Zealand . Usually it rains here for about 300 days every year! That adds up to about 8 metres of rain!!! We had to wait for one week in the next town to see it like this.
The mountain to the left rises just over a mile (1692 metres) above sea level. It's called Mitre Peak.
The two mountains on the right are the Elephant and the Lion, because of their shape. There is a huge waterfall coming out of the Elephant's trunk!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Maastricht, The Netherlands

Maastricht, originally uploaded by Epicantus.

Maastricht ([maːˈstʁɪçt] (southern Dutch) or [maːˈstɾɪxt] ( listen) (northern); Limburgish (incl. Maastrichtian) Mestreech [məˈstʁeːç]; French Maëstricht (archaic); Spanish Mastrique (archaic)) is a city in the Netherlands. It is located in the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg, of which it is the capital.
In Dutch, a resident of Maastricht is referred to as Maastrichtenaar whilst in the local dialect it is either Mestreechteneer or, colloquially, Sjeng (derived from the formerly popular French name Jean).
Maastricht is widely known as a city of history, culture, local folklore and education. The town is popular with tourists for shopping and recreation. The city has a large growing international student population.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia

Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, East Java, Indonesia
The national park is named after its two mountains, Mount Semeru (the highest in Java at 3,676 metres), Mount Bromo (the most popular) and the Tengger people who inhabit the area.

The park also includes large areas which are very lush and green fed by rivers from the high tops. The medium elevations are clad with much thinner forest before this gives way to the barren plateau and peaks.
When timing any activities in the area, bear in mind that sunset is soon after 5 PM and sunrise is correspondingly early at around 5:30 AM. This means you will usually need to get up by 3:30 AM or so to get to a watchpoint in time for dawn.
For the keen hiker, this park is a dream come true and you can make your own schedule.

If a landscape was ever needed to demonstrate the meaning of the phrase desolate beauty, then this is surely it. Rugged, barren volcanic peaks, gravel plains and that sea of sand. Truly unworldly.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Castelo de Vide, Portalegre, Alentejo, Portugal.

Untitled, originally uploaded by McFly!.

The mountain range that composes the outline of Castelo de Vide and Marvao are ever present in the scenery of this region. Clustered around the imposing hills are over 50 megalithic remains , including dolmens, menhirs and the remains of passage mounds, making this one of the megalithic hot-spots of Portugal.

Racetrack - Death Valley, CA USA

Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. Badwater, a basin located in Death Valley, is the specific location (36° 15' N 116° 49.5' W) of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet (86.0 m) below sea level. This point is only 84.6 miles (136.2 km) ESE of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). Death Valley holds the record for the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western hemisphere, 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913—just short of the world record, 136 °F (57.8 °C) in Al 'Aziziyah, Libya, on September 13, 1922. However, the record high still remains the hottest July temperature ever recorded.
Located near the border of California and Nevada, in the Great Basin, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Death Valley constitutes much of Death Valley National Park and is the principal feature of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve. It is located mostly in Inyo County, California. It runs from north to south between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west; the Sylvania Mountains and the Owlshead Mountains form its northern and southern boundaries, respectively. It has an area of about 3,000 sq mi (7,800 km2). Death Valley shares many characteristics with other places below sea level.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eguisheim, Alsace France

Eguisheim 4, originally uploaded by Foto Martien.

Eguisheim (German: Egisheim) is a commune in the Haut-Rhin département of Alsace, France, notable for, and largely devoted to, producing Alsace wine of high quality. Egisheim lies a few kilometers south of Colmar. The village centre is very picturesque and receives many tourists, as the Alsace "Wine Route" passes the village.
The uniqueness of this city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, lies in the winding streets which are abundant with flowers as well as in the beauty of the surrounding countryside. The commune is largely German-speaking.
The commune was the birthplace of Pope Leo IX on June 21, 1002.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, originally uploaded by petrosg.

Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the cathedral of Constantinople. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture." It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek scientists Isidore of Miletus, a physicist, and Anthemius of Tralles, a mathematician.

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who subsequently ordered the building converted into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over. Islamic features — such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets — were added while in the possession of the Ottomans. It remained a mosque until 1931 when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey.

Source: Wikipedia

Blue Mosque Istanbul, Turkey.

Blue Mosque, originally uploaded by petrosg.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.
It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Château de Monceau, Wallonia Belgium

Château de Monceau 3, originally uploaded by Babu l'binchou.

The castle of Monceau has been a seignorial domain since the 17th and 18th centuries. The entrance building comprises a square baroque porch dating from the 17th century. On either side are two wings that were redesigned in the 19th century, each of which is completed by a tower. Not much is known about the history of Monceau before the 15th century. Destroyed in 1554 it was rebuilt after 1607 and became the property of the family of Trazegnies, Hamal and de Gâvre. In the 19th century, the western wing is remarkable because of its classical view, in Louis XVI style. The addition of this wing allowed the creation of an honorary courtyard. This residence is surrounded by a superb 67 hectares park designed by an architect from Versailles (remarkable trees).

Port of Glommen, Halland, Sweden

Pier in storm 2,2, originally uploaded by jacglenphoto©.

Glommen is a locality situated in Falkenberg Municipality, Halland County, Sweden, with 687 inhabitants in 2005.[1]
It came to be formed in the later part of the 19th century, as a fishing port was established.
The Glumsten, a glacial erratic is mentioned as early as in the 11th century. It was important for navigation in the area until a lighthouse, Morups Tånge, was built in the 1840s.
The largest company is Glommens Fisk AB with about 30 employees and a turnover of about 70 million SEK. The village is also home to a restaurant as well as two minkfarms. The football club, Glommens IF, has as best played in the fifth division.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Machu Picchu, Andes Peru

Machu Picchu (10), originally uploaded by Harald Sandø.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Machu Picchu (Quechua: Machu Pikchu [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu], "Old Peak") is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca World.
The Incas started building the "estate" around AD 1400 but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. In September 2007, Peru and Yale University almost reached an agreement regarding the return of artifacts which Yale has held since Hiram Bingham removed them from Machu Picchu in the early 20th century. In November 2010, a Yale University representative agreed to return the artifacts to a Peruvian university.

Gruyeres, Moleson, Switzerland

Gruyere-Day 5, originally uploaded by turtleexpedition.

Gruyères is 810 m above sea level, 4.5 km south-south-east of the district capital Bulle. The historical town is placed on top of an isolated hill north of the alps, in the foothills of mount Moléson. It is also the location where the Saane river (French name: Sarine) leaves the Fribourg alps.

Medieval Gruyères
The 28.4 km² area of the municipality comprises a section of the Saane valley and of the Fribourg alps. The central part of the area is the plains of Alluvial (690 m above sea level) next to the alps, between Gruyères and Broc, from which the hill of Gruyères rises to 828 m above sea level. From the west, the brook Trême meets the Saane. East of the Saane, the municipality area ends in a small corner, bordered by the ridges of Dent de Broc (1829 m above sea level) in the north and Dent du Chamois (1830 m above sea level) in the south, ending at the valley of Motélon. The two peaks with their saddle between them are a popular subject for photographs of Gruyères.
Southwest of Gruyères, the municipality comprises most of the catchment area of the brook Albeuve, which originates on the flanks of mount Moléson. The top of mount Moléson is the highest point of the municipality, reaching 2002 m above sea level. It is worth an excursion. West of the Moléson, the densely wooded right valley side of the Trême and the terasse of La Part Dieu belong to Gruyères. 1997, 5% of the area was used for settlements, 49% wood and bosk, 41% agricultural and about 5% was unusable land.
The municipality of Gruyères also comprises the two villages of Epagny (715 m above sea level) to the north and Pringy (750 m above sea level) to the west of the town hill. Further, the small village Saussivue (710 above sea level) to the south and the holiday settlement Moléson-Village (1132 m above sea level) in the valley of the Albeuve in the foothills of mount Moléson as well as several isolated farms. Neighbour municipalities of Gruyères are Broc, Charmey, Bas-Intyamon, Haut-Intyamon, Semsales, Vaulruz, Vuadens, Bulle, La Tour-de-Trême and Le Pâquier.


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