Saturday, 31 October 2009
Vilnius , also known by several other names, is the largest city and the capital of Lithuania, with a population of 555,613 (847,954 together with Vilnius County) as of 2008. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County. Currently Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture of 2009 together with Linz, Austria. Vilnius is celebrated as having served as a major center of Torah study in Europe, where such scholars as the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski learned and taught.
The name of the city originated from the Vilnia River. The city has also been known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history. The most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Wilno, Belarusian: Вiльня (Vilnia), German: Wilna, Latin: Vilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильнюс, Yiddish: ווילנע (Vilne). An older Russian name is Вильна / Вильно (Vilna/Vilno), although Вильнюс (Vil'njus) is now used. The names Wilno and Vilna have also been used in older English and French language publications. The name Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
The city elderates have also names in other languages.
The architecture of China is as old as Chinese civilization. From every source of information - literary, graphic, exemplary - there is strong evidence testifying to the fact that the Chinese have always employed an indigenous system of construction that has retained its principal characteristics from prehistoric times to the present day. Over the vast area from Chinese Turkistan to Japan, from Manchuria to the northern half of French Indochina, the same system of construction is prevalent; and this was the area of Chinese cultural influence. That this system of construction could perpetuate itself for more than four thousand years over such a vast territory and still remain a living architecture, retaining its principal characteristics in spite of repeated foreign invasions - military, intellectual, and spiritual - is a phenomenon comparable only to the continuity of the civilization of which it is an integral part(Liang, Ssu-ch'eng 1984, A pictorial history of Chinese architecture : a study of the development of its structural system and the evolution of its types, ed. by Wilma Fairbank, Cambridge (Mass.)
MS Enchantment of the Seas is a Vision Class cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. Mainly, she cruises in the Caribbean, but can often be exploring the coast of Alaska and transiting the Panama Canal. Starting in 2010 the Enchantment of the Seas will be home ported in Baltimore. This will be Baltimore's second home ported ship.
There are plenty of public areas, three pools, spas, several bars, and dining establishments in addition to the main dining room. Its facilities include a theater, a solarium, a children's and a regular pool with fountain jets, a spa and fitness center, a two story dining room; My Fair Lady, the Windjammer cafe buffet, the Chops Grille specialty restaurant, themed bars and lounges, a discotheque, a shopping center and centrum, a teen disco and lounge, Adventure Ocean center, a piano bar, an observation deck, a rock-climbing wall, four bungee trampolines called the "Jump Zone" and the Viking Crown Lounge.
|Maiden Voyage: July 13, 1997|
Passenger Capacity: 2,446
Godmother: Colleen Fain
Gross Tonnage: 80,700
Cruising Speed: 22 knots
A covered bridge is a bridge, often single-lane, with enclosed sides and a roof. They have typically been wooden, although some newer ones are concrete or metal with glass sides. Mainly associated with the nineteenth century, covered bridges often serve as prominent local landmarks and have long attracted the attention of historic preservationists.
Early bridges were often made of wood, especially where it was a plentiful resource. Wooden bridges tended to deteriorate rapidly from exposure to the elements, having a useful lifespan of only nine years. Covering them protected their structural members, thus extending their life to 80 years or more.
Given the ready availability of steel, concrete, and other modern construction materials, most modern covered bridges are built either for the convenience of the user, rather than to protect the structure itself, or as a statement of style or design.
The park contains the tallest sand dunes in North America, rising about 750 feet (230 m) from the floor of the San Luis Valley on the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Range, covering about 19,000 acres (77 km²). They are perhaps 12,000 years old.
The dunes were formed from sand deposits of the Rio Grande and its tributaries, flowing through the San Luis Valley. Over the ages, westerly winds picked up sand particles from the river flood plain. As the wind lost power before crossing the Sangre de Cristo Range, the sand was deposited on the east edge of the valley. This process continues, and the dunes are slowly growing. The wind changes the shape of the dunes daily.
There are several streams flowing on the perimeter of the dunes. The streams erode the edge of the dune field, and sand is carried downstream. The water disappears into the ground, depositing sand on the surface. Winds pick up the deposits of sand, and blow them up onto the dune field once again.Digging a few inches into the dunes even at their peaks reveals wet sand. If the streams were to dry up, the dunes would disappear; in fact part of the motivation of turning the Monument into a National Park was the extra protection of the water, which Colorado's cities and agriculture covet.
It is very easy to experience the dune-building process. This is a very windy region, as hikers on the Sand Dunes will attest, as on many days they will be pelted by sand and even small rocks when hiking on the dunes. The wind carries sand and rocks from many miles away.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents. The geography and climate of the state are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which are home to much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city and Fairfax County the most populous political subdivision. The state population is nearly eight million.
The area's history begins with indigenous settlements, and the founding of the Virginia Colony in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London as the first permanent New World English colony. Land from displaced Native American tribes, including the Powhatan, and slave labor each played significant roles in Virginia's early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was the Confederate capital and the state of West Virginia separated. Although traditionally conservative and historically part of the South, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.
The state government, home to the oldest legislature in the Americas, has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States. It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its Governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in places like the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, including the Department of Defense and CIA; and military facilities in Hampton Roads, home to the region's main seaport. The growth of the media and technology sectors have made computer chips the state's leading export, with the industry based on the strength of Virginia's public schools and universities. Virginia does not have a major professional sports franchise, but is home to several prominent collegiate sports programs.Virginia has an area of 42,774 square miles (110,784 km2) making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and east; by the Atlantic Ocean to the east; by North Carolina and Tennessee to the south; by Kentucky to the west; and by West Virginia to the north and west. Due to a peculiarity of Virginia's original charter, its boundary with Maryland and Washington, D.C. does not extend past the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River (unlike many boundaries that split a river down the middle). The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes.
Those lovely cards are from Chrissy(Vagirl):)
Struga (Macedonian: Струга); Albanian: Strugë) is a town situated in the south-western region of the Republic of Macedonia, lying on the shore of Lake Ohrid. The town of Struga is the seat of Struga Municipality.
The origins for the name Struga are from Old Slavonic. There are two theories regarding the name, both of which are espoused by the local inhabitants of the Struga region.
The first theory is that the name of the town originated from the geographic location of the town. Located at the foot of an open valley and subject to a windy climate, it was suggested that the name originates from the Old Slavonic term: струже ветер (it blows wind). The second theory says that the name of the city origins from the old Slavic word straga, meaning a cross. The old name of the city is Enchalon, the ancient Greek word for eel, a kind of fish that lives in the Lake Ohrid.
Bali is an Indonesian island located at the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
With a population recorded as 3,551,000 in 2009, the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. 93.18% of Bali's population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.
The Dolomites (Italian: Dolomiti; German: Dolomiten; Friulian: Dolomitis) are a section of the Alps. They are located for the most part in the province of Belluno, the rest in the provinces of Bolzano-Bozen and Trento (all in north-eastern Italy). Conventionally they extend from the Adige river in the west to the Piave valley (Pieve di Cadore) in the east. The northern and southern borders are defined by the Puster Valley and the Sugana Valley (Val Sugana). But the Dolomites spread also over the Piave river (Dolomiti d'Oltrepiave) to the east; and far away over the Adige river to the west is the Brenta Group (Western Dolomites); there is also another smaller group called Piccole Dolomiti (Small Dolomites) located between the Provinces of Trento and Vicenza (see the map).
Friday, 16 October 2009
Jamaica (pronounced /dʒəˈmeɪkə/) is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometres (145 mi) in length and as much as 80 kilometres (50 mi) in width, amounting to 11,100 km2. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 190 kilometres (120 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harboring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".[dead link] Formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, it later became the British Crown colony of Jamaica. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous anglophone country in North America, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Its capital is Kingston.
Jamaica is the third largest island and the fourth largest country in the Caribbean. The island is home to the Blue Mountains inland and is surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. Most major towns and cities are located on the coast. Chief towns and cities include the capital Kingston, Portmore, Spanish Town, Mandeville, Ocho Ríos, Port Antonio, Negril, and Montego Bay. The Kingston Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. There are several tourist attractions scattered across the country, including Dunn's River Falls in St. Ann, YS Falls in St. Elizabeth, the Blue Lagoon in Portland, and Port Royal, which was the site of an earthquake that helped form the island's Palisadoes.
The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains, are relatively dry rain-shadow areas. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean; as a result, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage. Hurricanes Charlie and Gilbert hit Jamaica directly in 1951 and 1988, respectively, causing major damage and many deaths. In the 2000s, hurricanes Ivan, Dean, and Gustav also brought severe weather to the island.
Venice (Italian: Venezia, IPA: /ve'nεttsia/, Venetian: Venesia) is a city in northern Italy, the capital of the region Veneto, a population of 271,367 (census estimate January 1, 2004). Together with Padua, the city is included in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area (population 1,600,000). The city historically was an independent nation. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Bridges", and "The City of Light". Luigi Barzini, writing in The New York Times, described it as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man".
The city stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers. The population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 62,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazione of Mestre and Marghera; and 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon.
The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain and spice trade) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. Venice is also famous for its musical, particularly operatic, history, and its most famous son in this field is Antonio Vivaldi.
On this card you can see Ponte di RialtoThe Rialto Bridge (Italian: Ponte di Rialto) is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and the most famous in the city.
The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri.It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance.
The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge. So it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge.This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.
Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310. In 1444 it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed again in 1524.The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503. Several projects were considered over the following decades. In 1551 the authorities requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, among other things. Plans were offered by famous architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Palladio and Vignola, but all involved a Classical approach with several arches, which was judged inappropriate to the situation. Even the great Michelangelo was considered as designer of the bridge.
The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is remarkably similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.
Today, shop stalls line both sides of the bridge and it has become one of the major tourist sights in Venice.
Whitehaven is a majestic landmark cherished by the people of Paducah and the surrounding areas. The original mansion has been around since the 1860's, and throughout it's years has received many additions. At one time it seemed as though this mansion was destined to be destroyed. The last owners left in 1968 with the belief that the house would be torn down due to the construction of I-24. The house was not destroyed, but due to it being vacant a great deal of vandalism occurred. All of the original stained glass was removed or stolen, the interior mirrors were destroyed, and most of the doors and windows were broken. Water leakage also damaged much of the ceiling and floors. It appeared the house was doomed until three key events happened in the spring of 1981. First, the Smith family sold the house and property to Paducah Community College. Second, the state of Kentucky relocated the money for building an I-24 Tourism welcome center in the Paducah area. Third, and most importantly, Kentucky Secretary of Transportation Frank Metts and Gov. John Y. Brown Jr., threw their entire support to restoring the Smith Mansion for the Tourist Welcome Center instead of building a new one. Whitehaven has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1984. It is recognized as having outstanding historic and architectural significance.
This card(photo) comes from www.postcrossing.com , from http://www.postcrossing.com/user/rhaniyago .She wanted to send me a picture of her dog.And I love it.The dog is soo cute,isn´t?:)Danke ,Andrea:)
This lovely card arrived from Spain-Salamanca.Thank you everybody who signed it-Geminscp,SusanaPortugal,Marthina,Janinha,Maritekia and DiegoPortucale:)
Salamanca (population 155,740 ) is a city in western Spain, the capital of the province of Salamanca, which belongs to the autonomous community of Castile and Leon. The Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
The city of Salamanca, or “Helmantika”, was founded in the 4th century BC by the Celts and Romanized short after. It constituted an important link of communications of the Ruta de la Plata, the Roman “Road of the Silver” which crossed the Peninsula from North to South. Helmantika was later called Salmantica and finally, since the 13th century, the city got its present name, Salamanca.
In the 8th century, during the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the city was conquered by Musa Ibh Nusair, and Muslim culture took over Christianity.
After the Christian Reconquest, in the 13th century, the king Alfonso IX boosted the development of the city and founded the University of Salamanca, which was ratified by the Pope Alexander in 1255. The city and its university reached great prestige at the time and afterwards, with outstanding figures such as the famous writer Miguel de Unamuno, who was vice-Chancellor at the University of Salamanca.
Another outstanding episode of the Spanish history takes place in Salamanca, when during the Spanish war of Independence, the French army was defeated in the Battle of Arapiles, in 1812.
Salamanca was also a key city during the Spanish Civil War. All the documents obtained by the national troops during the occupation of the country where concentrated in Salamanca, creating a famous archive of documents of the Spanish war.
With the establishment of democracy and the arrival of monarchy in Spain, the prestige of the city and its University flourished again. Salamanca has become a cosmopolitan city and is continuously growing in culture and heritage, as shows its recognition by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, and its recent designation as European Capital of Culture, in the year 2002.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 122 cm (48 in) in height and weighing anywhere from 22 to 45 kg (48 to 99 lb). The dorsal side and head are black and sharply delineated from the white belly, pale-yellow breast and bright-yellow ear patches. Like all penguins it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.
Its diet consists primarily of fish, but can also include crustaceans, such as krill, and cephalopods, such as squid. In hunting, the species can remain submerged up to 18 minutes, diving to a depth of 535 m (1,755 ft). It has several adaptations to facilitate this, including an unusually structured hemoglobin to allow it to function at low oxygen levels, solid bones to reduce barotrauma, and the ability to reduce its metabolism and shut down non-essential organ functions.
The Emperor Penguin is perhaps best known for the sequence of journeys adults make each year in order to mate and to feed their offspring. The only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter, it treks 50–120 km (31–75 mi) over the ice to breeding colonies which may include thousands of individuals. The female lays a single egg, which is incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to forage; parents subsequently take turns foraging at sea and caring for their chick in the colony. The lifespan is typically 20 years in the wild, although observations suggest that some individuals may live to 50 years of age.
Tha back of this card says so:"The Crystal Palace is Tombstone´s most glamorous and historically accurate bar still in operatsion.Mingle with historic characters and lovely ladies at the finest saloon in the southwest."
And Wiki says so: Tombstone is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by Ed Schieffelin in what was then the Arizona Territory. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 1,569.
In the summer of 1877 prospector Ed Schieffelin was working the hills east of the San Pedro River in the southeast portion of the Arizona Territory, when he came across a vein of very rich silver ore in a high plateau called Goose Flats. When Schieffelin filed his mining claim he named it "The Tombstone", after a warning given him by a passing soldier. While telling the soldier about his rock collecting experiences, the soldier told him that the only rock he was likely to collect among the waterless hills and warring Apaches of the area would be his own tombstone.
The town of Tombstone was founded in 1879, taking its name from the mining claim, and soon became a boomtown. Fueled by mineral wealth, Tombstone was a city of 1000 by the beginning of 1881, and within another year Tombstone had become the seat of a new county (Cochise County) with a population between 5,000 and 15,000, and services including refrigeration (with ice cream and later even ice skating), running water, telegraph and limited telephone service, and a newspaper aptly named the Tombstone Epitaph.Capitalists and businessmen moved in from the eastern U.S. Mining was carried out by immigrants from Europe, chiefly Ireland and Germany. An extensive service industry (laundry, construction, restaurants, hotels, etc.) was provided by Chinese and other immigrants.
Without railroad access the increasingly sophisticated Tombstone was relatively isolated, deep in a Federal territory that was largely unpopulated desert and wilderness. Tombstone and its surrounding countryside also became known as one of the deadliest regions in the West. Uncivilized southern gangs from the surrounding countryside, known as "cow-boys", were at odds with the northern capitalists and immigrant miners who ran the city and mines. On October 26, 1881 this situation famously exploded in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, leading to a continued family and political feud that resulted in multiple deaths.
On December 25, 1881 the Bird Cage Theater opened, and in 1882 the New York Times reported that "the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast."
Since Tombstone was in the desert, a company built a pipeline to supply the town with water. No sooner was this pipeline built than Tombstone's silver mines struck water.
As a result of relative lack of water and quick wooden construction, Tombstone experienced major fires in June 1881 and May 1882. The second fire was particularly destructive and signaled the end of the classic old boomtown mining city. After the mid-1880s, when the silver mines had been tapped out, the main pump failed, causing many mines to be flooded with deep groundwater, and Tombstone declined rapidly. The U.S. census found it had fewer than 1900 residents in 1890, and fewer than 700 residents in 1900.http://www.cityoftombstone.com/