Friday, September 30, 2011

Venice Italy from space.. a Floating city

Earth From Space: Floating city, originally uploaded by europeanspaceagency.

The islands that make up the Italian city of Venice and the surrounding Venetian Lagoon are pictured in this image. Snaking through the central districts is the Grand Canal, with the Santa Lucia train station at its northern end and the Saint Mark Basin at its southern end. Zooming in, we can see water buses and taxis navigating the canal and gondolas docked along the edge. The square island to the north is San Michele. Once a prison island, it became a cemetery when Napoleon’s occupying forces declared burial on the main islands unsanitary.
This image was acquired on 22 June 2008 by Ikonos-2, a commercial satellite that provides panchromatic and multispectral high-resolution imagery. ESA is supporting Ikonos-2 as a Third Party Mission, which means that the Agency uses its multi-mission European ground infrastructure and expertise to acquire, process and distribute data from the satellite to its wide scientific user community.
High resolution versions of this image can be found at:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Château de Chantilly France

The Château de Chantilly (pronounced: [ʃɑ.to də ʃɑ̃.ti.ji]) is a historic château located in the town of Chantilly, France. It comprises two attached buildings; the Grand Château, destroyed during the French Revolution and rebuilt in the 1870s, and the Petit Château which was built around 1560 for Anne de Montmorency. Owned by the Institut de France, the château houses the Musée Condé, which is one of the finest art galleries in France and is open to the public.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

St. Kilda, Scotland, UK

St Kilda (Scottish Gaelic: Hiort) is an isolated archipelago 64 kilometres (40 mi) west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom. The islands are administratively a part of the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area.
St Kilda was permanently inhabited for at least two millennia, with its population probably never exceeding 180 (and certainly no more than 100 after 1851). The entire population was evacuated from Hirta (the only inhabited island) in 1930. Currently, the only year-round residents are defence personnel although a variety of conservation workers, volunteers and scientists spend time there in the summer months.
The origin of the name St Kilda is a matter of conjecture. The islands' human heritage includes numerous unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, although the earliest written records of island life date from the Late Middle Ages. The medieval village on Hirta was rebuilt in the 19th century, but the influences of religious zeal, illnesses brought by increased external contacts through tourism, and the First World War all contributed to the island's evacuation in 1930. The story of St Kilda has attracted artistic interpretations, including an opera.
The entire archipelago is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It became one of Scotland's five World Heritage Sites in 1986 and is one of the few in the world to hold joint status for its natural and cultural qualities. Two different early sheep types have survived on these remote islands, the Soay, a Neolithic type, and the Boreray, an Iron Age type. The islands are a breeding ground for many important seabird species including Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, and Northern Fulmars. The St Kilda Wren and St Kilda Field Mouse are endemic subspecies. Parties of volunteers work on the islands in the summer to restore the many ruined buildings that the native St Kildans left behind. They share the island with a small military base established in 1957.

Shiprock, New Mexico USA

Shiprock sunrise, originally uploaded by Rozanne Hakala.

Shiprock (Navajo: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings" or "winged rock") is a rock formation rising nearly 1,583 feet (482.5 m) above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. It has a peak elevation of 7,177 feet (2,187.5 m) above the sea level. It lies about 12 by 20 miles (19 by 32 km) southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak. Governed by the Navajo Nation, the formation is in the Four Corners region and plays a significant role in Navajo religion, mythology and tradition. It is located in the center of the Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Puebloan civilization, a prehistoric Native American culture of the Southwest United States often referred to as the Anasazi. Shiprock is a point of interest for rock climbers and photographers and has been featured in several film productions and novels. It is the most prominent landmark in northwestern New Mexico

Friday, September 16, 2011

Arctic Sea Ice

Arctic Sea Ice, originally uploaded by NASA Goddard Photo and Video.

Arctic Sea Ice

On July 12, 2011, crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy retrieved a canister dropped by parachute from a C-130, which brought supplies for some mid-mission fixes.
The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011.
Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen
For updates on the five-week ICESCAPE voyage, visit the mission blog at:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Greece's Top 10 Archaeological Sites

A visit to Greece allows the opportunity to go back through the corridors of time with some of the most awesome archaeological sites in the world. Greece is literally a network of the remains of civilizations that date from as far back as the prehistoric times and weaves its way through early historic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Here are 10 of the best of the archaeological sites in Greece:

1. Acropolis of Athens


The Parthenon - Photo: B. Paige

Sitting on the highest point and overlooking the city is the “Citadel of Athens.” One of the most significant monuments and testament to the great architectural heritage of Greece, the Acropolis was a brainchild of the statesman Pericles and built during the 5th century. This ancient religious site bears the remains of a number of temples and statues including the Propylea Gateway, the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the Theatre of Dionysus. Most of the artifacts found during the excavations are now displayed in the Acropolis Museum.

2. Delphi


The Temple of Apollo - Photo: A. Pappa

Delphi is most famous for the legendary and influential oracle found in numerous ancient Greek writings and is situated in central Greece on the slope of Mount Parnassus. Legend has it that the Greek god Apollo used the oracle to speak to humans through a medium called the Pythia, or a priestess of the Delphi.  Discovered in 1893, the site today is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece with its spectacular remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Stadium, Athenian Treasury and the Altar of the Chians among others.

3. Sacred Island of Delos


Naxian Lions Terrace of Delos - Photo: A. Pippo

Also known as the Island of Apollo, this small but historically significant sanctuary is located in the heart of Cyclades just miles away from Mykonos. During the ancient times, it was the center of religion, trade, commerce and politics and its discovery in 1873 was monumental in that it bore testament to a highly advanced civilization.  Must-sees include the Agora, the Temple of the Lions, the Sanctuary and the Theatre District.

4. Olympia


Ruins of the Philippeion - Photo: M. Fitzpatrick

The site of the first Olympic games and an ancient sanctuary, the site was first discovered and excavated in 1829. Ancient Olympia was situated in Peloponesse and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989. Today, the town is a flourishing community of municipalities and subdivisions. Visitors to the ancient ruins can still see impressive monuments such as the Stadium, the temples dedicated to Zeus and Hera and the Palaestra.

5. Knossos


Knossos Minoan Palace - Photo: S. Leon

Another legendary site is Knossos, the largest and best preserved archaeological find from the Bronze Age and the remains of the great Minoan civilization. The grand Palace of Knossos was home to King Minos and the setting for many heroic tales and epics including the Minotaur in the Labyrinth and Icarus. Aside from the palace visitors can see the Royal Villa, the intricate frescoes on the walls and the Minoan Columns.

6. Vergina


A tomb in Vergina - Photo: B. Dirah

Also known as the Archaeological Site of Agai (or Aegae), this ancient Macedonian capital was brought to global attention in 1977 with the discovery of the burial site of the kings of Macedon including Philip II and Alexander IV. Valuable artifacts found in the site are now housed in the Great Tumulus Museum.

7. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus


Theatre of Epidaurus - Photo: H. Melo

According to legend, Asklepios was a god of medicine and was worshipped in the city state of Epidaurus in Ancient Greece. A huge sanctuary was built in his honor (the “Asclepieion) and became the center of activity in Epidaurus with throngs of people coming to find healing for their conditions. Other majestic ancient monuments uncovered in the site include the theatre, palace and tombs.

8. Lindos


Acropolis of Lindos - Photo: A. Anna

Situated in the island of Rhodes is the citadel of Lindos, an ancient fortified area that has been in existence since the 10th century BC. It was an important trading post in the 7th to 6th centuries BC but declined in significance after the rise of Rhodes in the 5th century. The most important find is the Doric Temple of Athena along with the Propylaea and the Hellenistic wall.

9. Meteora


The Monastery of the Holy Trinity - Photo: D. Jarmin

From the Greek word which means “suspended in the air” the Meteora Monasteries have come to be known as one of Greece’s most impressive sites. It is a community of  six Greek Orthodox monasteries started and built during the 9th century on rock pillars and along high mountain walls at the edge of Thessaly and along the Eastern Pindus Mountains. In the old times, the only way to get to the monasteries was by hoisting up long ladders or large nets. Today, visitors can reach the place through staircases that were made from the rock formations.

10. Mycenae


The Lion Gate - Photo: E. Rones

The once mighty and glorious civilization of Mycenae is situated on a hill in Northeastern Peloponnese in Argolis. From the 5th to the 1st century BC, Mycenae was the political, cultural, religious and military center so much so that the period has come to be known in Greek history as Mycenaean. Vestiges if its grandeur can still be seen in the citadel ruins – the Lion Gates, Treasury of Atreus and Grave Circle A are among the impressive architecture that can be seen in the site.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Discover the Mediterranean's Artisanal Olive Oils


By Raphael Kadushin

Olive oil may have only recently found a firm place at the American table, next to that smug pat of butter. But in the Mediterranean, where groves of olive trees are a fixed part of the landscape, the oil has liberally infused the culture and cuisine for millennia. Now certain epicenters of the liquid gold—SpainFrance, Greece, andItaly—have witnessed a resurgence of smaller, artisanal olive oil producers that are welcoming visitors and helping fuel a local celebration of this ancient cash crop. That means travelers can map their own olive oil odyssey—one that leads from the olive estates themselves to olive oil tastings, boutiques (where the stock is bottled to clear customs), festivals, and meals overseen by an olive oil sommelier.

The 17th-century Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille ( sits in Provence’s Vallée des Baux, one of France’s olive oil centers, and is considered by some chefs one of the most authentic olive mills in the country. Visit in late October and November to watch the granite millstones crush the harvest of tiny green and brown olives. Year-round, the Moulin features a film on olive oil production and a degustation of three types of the cold-pressed house specialty. Stop at the nearby boutique Jean Martin for a variety of Provençal olive oils, sauces, fig confit, and cooking classes ($26 per person).

Just below the Sierra Subbética Mountains in the southern Spanish province of Córdoba, the Núñez de Prado family ( has been producing olive oil on the single-family estate since 1795, using olives handpicked from their groves. Visitors can watch the seven varieties of estate olives get crushed in the 18th-century mill. After the demonstration, move on to a tasting (by appointment) of the organic result, roused by hints of almond, oranges, and apples, which is a favorite of the Spanish royals. The neighboring whitewashed town of Baena continues the fruity education at the Museo del Olivar y el Aceite (, housed in its own antique mill. In November, Baena hosts an annual olive and olive oil festival that climaxes with a tapas crawl through the town’s cafés where chefs compete to serve the most creative olive-based plates.

Any olive oil quest should include Greece, where olive-leaf wreaths were the original Olympic crown and where the fruit has been cultivated for 4,000 years. The prefecture of Lakonia in south-central Peloponnese is known for the groves of Koroneiki olives that produce a fruity olive oil. The central Lakonian town of Sparta features the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil (, where fossilized olive leaves from Santorini date back 60,000 years. The neighboring family-owned Olea olive oil estate ( in the Valley of Sparta offers visitors estate tours, tastings, and excursions to the Caves of Diros.

Armando Manni was a film director before deciding to take over an ancient grove in Italy, scientifically refine olive oil production, and launch his Manni Oils(—part estate, part chemistry lab—near Montalcino, Tuscany. Working with the University of Florence to create a unique methodology called Live Oil, he produces an organic extra virgin olive oil high in antioxidant value and low in acidity. After sampling his oil (arrange tastings in advance), visitors can hike to the top of Mount Amiata for a memorable view over the olive groves and to the sea.


@ Cute Crete, Greece

A tilt-shift video by Joerg Daiber.

Locations: Agios Nikolaos, Spinalonga, Kritsa, Katharo, Pitsidia and Matala on Crete, Greece.

Shot with Lumix GH2, Gorillapod, 14-140mm and 7-14mm Lenses.

Post with Final Cut Pro and After Effects.

Music: Greece by Gayle Ellett.

The pretty side of the financial crisis.

Watch full screen!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monastiraki Square, Athens, Greece

Monastiraki Square, originally uploaded by Visit Greece.
Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the “Golden Age of Pericles”) – the culmination of Athens’ long, fascinating history – the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments - a rare historical palimpsest. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.

Via Flickr:
Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age. In the 5th Century BC (the “Golden Age of Pericles”) – the culmination of Athens’ long, fascinating history – the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments - a rare historical palimpsest. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.

Photo: (GNTO / Yannis Skoulas)

one day on earth..

ONE DAY ON EARTH creates a picture of humanity by recording a 24-hour period throughout every country in the world. We explore a greater diversity of perspectives than ever seen before on screen.

We follow characters and events that evolve throughout the day, interspersed with expansive global montages that explore the progression of life from birth, to death, to birth again. In the end, despite unprecedented challenges and tragedies throughout the world, we are reminded that every day we are alive there is hope and a choice to see a better future together.

Founded in 2008, ONE DAY ON EARTH set out to explore our planet’s identity and challenges in an attempt to answer the question: Who are we? Please help us tell this story:

Many thanks to the contributors of One Day on Earth, Vimeo, Ning, United Nations, and the 60+ non-profits for making this happen.

Director: Kyle Ruddick

Producer: Brandon Litman

Co-producer: Daniel Lichtblau

Production Supervisor: Gina Nemirofsky

Editors: Michael Martinez & Javier Alvarez

Trailer Editor: Michael Martinez

MUSIC BY: Joseph Minadeo and Beirut Images and

Stories in this trailer by: Abdessamad Idrissi Ada & Kris Chmielewski Aditya Kolli Adonis Pulatus Alex M Alexander Alexandros Hadjicostas Ali Azhari Ben Klein Black Pencil Project Brandon Litman Bronek Kaminski Bryon Evans Capi Baigorria Chi Kong Lui Chris Todd Christian Ducken Clifford W Klima Daniel Chung Daniel Lichtblau David Ahrendts David Aufdembrinke Demeocq Dimitri Ellerington Dimitris Christopoulos Enrico Trippa Even Q Fendi Shareef Franz Walter Gema Interiano Gregory Hall Hae Jung Hofman Husam Al-Sayed Itcho James Travis III Jay Galvan John Miller John Rinker Jon Carr Jonathan Sterkenburg Juan Garcia Juhani Väihkönen Karl Hillcoat-Williams Kieran Ball Kreshnik Berisha Kyle Ruddick Luke Younge Marcel van der Steen Mark Eby Michael Diiorio Michael Martinez Miklos Volner Moaez Saeed Mohammadreza Shams Napali NASA Nita Deda Olakunle Idowu Ombajo Misava Edward Paul Johannessen Peter Beier Philippe Kiener Phil Klein Ramda Yanurzha Ray Paunovich Renee van der Sluis Richard Liston VIII Rick Rashid Ryan Green Siraj Shahjahan Steve Romano Suporn Shoosongdej Tamir Naber Tato Carrillo TEDxRainier Tej Gyan Foundation Tim Courson Todd Brown Torsten Lohrmann UNDP Bahrain UNDP Congo UNDP Kenya UNDP Kuwait UNDP Nepal United Nations Development Programme Video Volunteers Wes Davis Yll Citaku Zeenat Munir

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome to EF Dublin

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Gardena Pass S. Tyrol, Italy

Chapel of St Maurice, originally uploaded by bingleyman2.
The Gardena Pass (Italian: Passo Gardena; German: Grödnerjoch; Ladin: Ju de Frara or Jëuf de Frea) (el. 2136 m.) is a high mountain pass in South Tyrol in Italy. There are tourist accommodations on the pass itself. Walkers visit the pass to access the dramatic Dolomite mountains.
It connects Sëlva in the Val Gardena and Corvara in the Val Badia. The road over it comprises part of the famous Sella Ring, in which four linked passes (Gardena, Sella, Pordoi and Campolongo) encircle the spectacular Sella group. The route becomes busy with tourists, motorcyclists and cyclists during the summer.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thors Chariots the Northern Lights Norway

Thors Chariots - The Northern Lights from Ingenious TV on Vimeo.

I have just returned from my annual trip to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights. This year I used a Sony PMW-350 with a NanoFlash and they performed superbly, which was just well as this year we were clouded out for all but 2 nights and even then there was a thin layer of cloud making the Aurora dim and diffuse. One of these days I'm going to get the funds together to go and spend a month up in Norway during the winter and really make a go of shooting the Aurora. It is such a beautiful subject and video cameras are now sensitive enough to capture many of the finer details that are lost with long exposure still photographs.
The clips were shot using the Slow Shutter at either 32 of 64 frames recording 1 frame every second timelapse on both the 350 and NanoFlash. I did have to add in some gain this year due to the faint nature of the Aurora, up to 6db at times and as a result the pictures are grainier than I would have liked. Even so I have to say that the 350 is super sensitive. There was another person with me (Phil Clemo) shooting on one of my EX3's and the footage from the 350 is quite a bit better than the EX3 material shot at the same time.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Islas Canarias Espana

El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Valparaiso Chile

Valparaiso Colors at Daylight... 5th one!

Valparaíso (/ˌvælpəˈrz/, Spanish: [balpaɾaˈiso]) is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation (Greater Valparaíso) and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region. Although Santiago is Chile's official capital, the National Congress of Chile was established in Valparaíso in 1990.
Valparaíso played an important geopolitical role in the second half of the 19th century, when the city served as a major stopover for ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacificoceans by crossing the Straits of Magellan. Always a magnet for European immigrants, Valparaíso mushroomed during its golden age, when the city was known by international sailors as “Little San Francisco” and “The Jewel of the Pacific.”
Examples of Valparaíso’s former glory include Latin America’s oldest stock exchange, the continent’s first volunteer fire department, Chile’s first public library, and the oldest Spanish language newspaper in continuous publication in the world. The opening of the Panama Canal and reduction in ship traffic dealt a staggering blow to Valparaíso, though the city has staged an impressive renaissance in recent years.
Though nearby San Antonio has taken the reins as the country’s most commercially important seaport (greater tonnage moved), the City of Valparaíso remains a vibrant center of Chilean culture, and the Greater Valparaíso metropolitan area (which includes Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué and Villa Alemana) has the third largest concentration of population in the country after Greater Santiago and Greater Concepción.

Valparaiso Colors at Daylight... 5th one! | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Postcards from Belgium... another one from 'Brugge'?? | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Postcards from Belgium... another one from 'Brugge'??

Bruges (Dutch: Brugge) is a town in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. Relatively cosmopolitan and bourgeois given its compact size, it is one of the best preserved pre-motorised cities in Europe and offers the kind of charms rarely available elsewhere. Bruges is a postcard perfect stop on any tour of Europe.
The historical center is not so big and thus quite walkable. The only mode of public transport inside city is bus. Buses are operated by the Flemish public transport company De Lijn . Taxis on the market place and station cost about €10. Bicycles are easy to rent and make getting around the city very speedy, although the cobblestoned paths can make the rides a little bumpy and uncomfortable.

Some highlights: official site
  • Groeninge Museum, Dijver 12, B-8000, [official site]. 7 days 9:30AM-5PM. Known as 'The city museum of Fine Arts', it houses a collection of artworks that span several centuries (14th-20th), focusing mainly on works by painters who lived and worked in Bruges. €8 / €6 (audioguide and ticket Arents House and Forum+ included in the entrance).
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilige Bloed Basiliek), Burg 10, [official site]. Apr-Sep 9:30AM-11:50AM & 2PM-5:50PM, Oct-Mar 10AM-11:50AM & 2PM-3:50PM. A beautiful church on the Burg square. It houses a relic - a vial of blood that is said to be that of Jesus - and was built in the Gothic style. Try and get there early so you can view the chapel when it is quiet and not filled with tourists. And don't forget to visit the chapel underneath, in heavy Romanesque style - a contrast to the lovely light Gothic above. Free.
  • Brewery De Halve Maan, Walplein 26, +31 50 332-697, [official site]. Apr-Oct M-Sa 11:00-16:00, Su 11:00-17:00. This brewery annex beer museum offers a tour of the beer making process. A history of the brewery is provided, as well as an overview of the city from its tower. The tour lasts for 45 minutes and is a good way to get a feel for Belgian beer making. The tours start at the exact turn of the hour, be at least fifteen minutes early as there is a maximum amount of people that can join. The entrance price includes one drink of Brugse Zot or Straffe Hendrik and is served after the tour at the outside terrace or indoor bar. €6 including 1 beer.
  • Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk, Mariastraat. A fascinating church with architecture from the Romanesque and Gothic periods. In the east end of the church are very fine tombs of Charles the Bold and his daughter Mary of Burgundy - in contrasting Gothic and Renaissance styles, despite their superficial similarity. The church also houses one of the few Michelangelo sculptures outside of Italy, the "Madonna with child". Free.
  • Jerusalem church, [official site]. In a quiet area of the city, a highly unusual church with octagonal tower built by the Adornes brothers, merchants of Italian extraction. It includes a fine black tournai marble tomb, late Gothic stained glass, and a tiny and rather spooky chapel containing an effigy of the dead Christ. The entrance fee also covers the Lace Museum in the former Adornes mansion, where you can see local women and girls learning this traditional craft.
  • The Begijnhof. Also known as the convent, between the centre of the station and the city, with white painted small houses and fine plane trees, is a quiet place to walk - groups are discouraged.
  • The Hospital of St John, [official site]. 09:30 - 17:00, Closed Mondays. Sint-Janshospitaal contains a museum of six paintings by Hans Memling, within the early medieval hospital buildings. €6 with Bruges card / €8.
  • Choco-Story Museum, Wijnzakstraat 2 (Sint-Jansplein), 050/61.22.37, [official site]. 10AM-5PM. This museum is a must see for chocolate enthusiasts as it describes chocolate's transition from cocoa into chocolate. Its low cost tasty exhibits make it well worth the time (and Belcolade's gently overt marketing). Be sure to stay for the chocolate making exhibition to get some excellent samplers. €6 with Bruges card / €7.
  • DiamantMuseum, Katelijnestraat 43, 050 33 63 26‎, [official site]. 10:30AM-5:30PM. Diamond museum has a large range of exhibits ranging from mining all the way to polishing and all the history in between. Everyday at 12:15 there is a live polishing demonstration. Individuals €6, Groups €4.5, Students €3.
  • The Friet Museum, Vlamingstraat (opposite Academiestraat), [official site]. Check out the world's only frites (fries or chips) museum which tells the story of the humble potato from South America and how it has evolved into a fry. Don't forget to try the tastiest fries cooked by the guy who cooked for the Belgian Royal Family.
Bruges is visited by a huge number of tourists and it sometimes becomes quite annoying, especially around the Markt and Burg squares. 

Postcards from Belgium... another one from 'Brugge'?? | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Paris vs New York

much more @ :

If It's Hip, It's Here: 35 Graphic Design Posters by Vahram Muratyan Compare Paris With New York.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pagoda of Yasaka in Higashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

Morning light, originally uploaded by kamomebird.
Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社, Yasaka Jinja), also known as Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. Founded over 1350 years ago, the shrine is located between the popular Gion District and Higashiyama District, and is often visited by tourists walking between the two districts.

The shrine's main hall combines the honden (inner sanctuary) and haiden (offering hall) into a single building. In front of it stands a dance stage with hundreds of lanterns that get lit in the evenings. Each lantern bears the name of a local business in return for a donation.

Yasaka Shrine is well known for its summer festival, the Gion Matsuri, which is celebrated every July. Arguably the most famous festival in the whole country, the Gion Matsuri dates back over a thousand years and involves a procession with massive floats and hundreds of participants. The shrine also becomes busy during the cherry blossom season around early April, as the adjacent Maruyama Park is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Kyoto.

The Clock Tower

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).
The city administers seven villages: Angofa, Aurel Vlaicu, Hetiur, Rora, Şoromiclea, Venchi and Viilor.

During the 12th century, German craftsmen and merchants known as the Transylvanian Saxons were invited to Transylvania by the King of Hungary to settle and defend the frontier of his realm. The chronicler Krauss lists a Saxon settlement in present-day Sighiṣoara by 1191.[citation needed] A document of 1280 records a town built on the site of a Roman fort as Castrum Sex or "six-sided camp", referring to the fort's shape of an irregular hexagon. Other names recorded include Schaäsburg (1282), Schespurg (1298) and Segusvar (1300).[2] By 1337 Sighişoara had become a royal center for the kings, who awarded the settlement urban status in 1367 as the Civitas de Segusvar.
The city played an important strategic and commercial role at the edges of Central Europe for several centuries. Sighişoara became one of the most important cities of Transylvania, with artisans from throughout the Holy Roman Empire visiting the settlement. The German artisans and craftsmen dominated the urban economy, as well as building the fortifications protecting it. It is estimated that during the 16th and the 17th centuries Sighişoara had as many as 15 guilds and 20 handicraft branches. The Baroque sculptor Elias Nicolai lived in the city. The Wallachian prince Vlad Dracul (father of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula), who lived in exile in the town, let coins to be minted in the city (otherwise coinage was the monopoly of the Hungarian kings in the Kingdom of Hungary) and issued the first document listing the city's Romanian name, Sighişoara.

via Wikipedia

It's Always Summer

It's Always Summer, originally uploaded by brexians.
It's Always Summer

Heave the anchor short!
Raise main-sail and jib--steer forth,
O little white-hull'd sloop, now speed on really deep waters,
(I will not call it our concluding voyage,
But outset and sure entrance to the truest, best, maturest;)
Depart, depart from solid earth--no more returning to these shores,
Now on for aye our infinite free venture wending,
Spurning all yet tried ports, seas, hawsers, densities, gravitation,
Sail out for good, eidolon yacht of me!

by Walt Whitman

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mount Rushmore South Dakota USA

last sighting, mount rushmore [L1008246]

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near KeystoneSouth Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglumand later by his son Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (in order from left to right) George Washington,Thomas JeffersonTheodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres (5.17 km2) and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.
South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region. Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site and chose the larger Mount Rushmore. Borglum also decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum's death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in October 1941.
The U.S. National Park Service took control of the memorial in 1933, while it was still under construction, and manages the memorial to the present day. It attracts approximately two million people annually.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Badshahi Masjid, Lahore, Pakistan

Eid Mubarik
The Badshahi Mosque (Urduبادشاھی مسجد) or the 'King's Mosque' in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Epitomising the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore's most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction.
Capable of accommodating 5,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years), when overtaken in size by the completion of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. Today, it remains the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world after the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque) in Medina, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca and the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
To appreciate its large size, the four minarets of the Badshahi Mosque are 13.9 ft (4.2 m) taller than those of the Taj Mahal and the main platform of the Taj Mahal can fit inside the 278,784 sq ft (25,899.9 m2) courtyard of the Badshahi Mosque, which is the largest mosque courtyard in the world.
In 1993, the Government of Pakistan recommended the inclusion of the Badshahi Mosque as a World Heritage Site in UNESCO's World Heritage List, where it has been included in Pakistan's Tentative List for possible nomination to the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler


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