Sunday, May 30, 2010
The pier contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park with a large Ferris wheel. It also has a carousel from the 1920s, an aquarium, shops, entertainers, an arcade, a trapeze school, a pub, and restaurants. The end of the pier is a popular location for anglers.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
"In a region that has been subjected to severe glaciation, these parks and reserves, with their steep gorges, covering an area of over 1 million ha, constitute one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for more than 20,000 years." - in: www.whc.unesco.org/en/list/181
Monday, May 24, 2010
Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors. It took nearly a quarter of a century to complete.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism." - in: wikipedia
An urban legend during the GDR days says that, in order to escape the hardships of communist rule, the workers and farmers of Hiddensee wrote a letter to Stalin requesting to be annexed by Sweden (Hiddensee belonged to Swedish Pommerania 1648-1815). Of course that did not happen, but it reflects the typical humor of people in the GDR.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
In 1911, this former farming community began to develop Cardiff, when developer J. Frank Cullen broke ground to build new homes. It is reported by the Cardiff Chamber of Commerce that it was Frank Cullen's wife, a native of Cardiff, Wales, who persuaded him to name the community, "Cardiff." Many streets in Cardiff bear names this English-born landowner grew up with in his native UK. The names of, "Birmingham," "Oxford," "Chesterfield" and "Manchester" are major streets in this city." - in: wikipedia
Resting at the highest point of the peninsula of Newport, the church with its twin spires, gold crosses and statue of the Virgin Mary was formally dedicated August 1, 1909." - in: wikipedia
"Mount Rainier is a large active stratovolcano (also known as a composite volcano) in Pierce County, Washington, USA, located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle. It towers over the Cascade Range as the most prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and Cascade Volcanic Arc at 14,411 feet (4,392 m). It is the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range.
The mountain and the surrounding area are protected within Mount Rainier National Park. With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles (93 km2) of permanent snowfields and glaciers Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states. The summit is topped by two volcanic craters, each over 1,000 feet (300 m) in diameter with the larger east crater overlapping the west crater. Geothermal heat from the volcano keeps areas of both crater rims free of snow and ice, and has formed the world's largest volcanic glacier cave network within the ice-filled craters. A small crater lake about 130 by 30 feet (40 by 9.1 m) in size and 16 feet (5 m) deep, the highest in North America with a surface elevation of 14,203 feet (4,329 m), occupies the lowest portion of the west crater below more than 100 feet (30 m) of ice and is accessible only via the caves." - in: wikipedia
The new Beijing Poly Plaza building in Beijing, incorporates 24 stories of office space built around a 90-meter-tall atrium enclosed by the world’s largest cable-net-supported glass wall. The museum occupancy is contained in an eight-story hanging ‘lantern’ suspended in the building atrium from four parallel strand bridge cables.
"Oze is a 25,000 hectare tract of north-eastern Japan that until summer of 2007 made up part of the gargantuan Nikko National Park. Oze sprawls across parts of no less than three prefectures: Gunma, Niigata and Fukushima.
This is Japan’s largest area of highland marsh, and is renowned for its vistas of wild flowers and majestic mountain scenery. Oze is a spectacular example of what beauty nature can produce with fire and brimstone. Lava from an eruption of nearby Mt. Hiuchigatake dammed the Tadamigawa River creating the marshlands, which Kita Tadamigawa is still the prime source of water for.
The plethora of streams here provides much of Tokyo’s energy requirements, no less than 70% of the land in the park being owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company.
Nikko National Park, of which Oze was a part, came into being in 1934 as Japan’s fourth largest. In 2005, it was included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands being an international convention adopted in 1971).
In summer of 2007 Oze was formally detached from Nikko National Park and given the status of a new park: Japan’s twenty-ninth.
Nikko is one of Japan’s busiest tourist areas, and the rationale behind this move is to reduce the tourism impact on Oze and nurture it as a true natural reserve."- in: http://www.japanvisitor.com/index.php?cID=357&pID=1408
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This postcard was on my favorite album. Farah "feefs" tagged me in one of the "favorites" tags and her card arrived this week. So, the card shows the colossal head of Ramesses II in the Luxor Temple.
"Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile in the city today known as Luxor (ancient Thebes) and was founded in 1400 B.C.E.
The earliest parts of the temple still standing are the barque chapels, just behind the first pylon. They were built by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III. The main part of the temple - the colonnade and the sun court were built by Amenhotep III, and a later addition by Rameses II, who built the entrance pylon, and the two obelisks (one of which was taken to France, and is now at the centre of the Place de la Concorde) linked the Hatshepsut buildings with the main temple.
"The temple also honours Ma Chor Poh, the patron saint of seafarers who was highly regarded by the Chinese settlers, many of whom had travelled great distances, crossing the seas from China to Penang.
The Kuan Yin Temple was built in the 1800s by early Chinese settlers of the Hokkien and Cantonese communities. The temple was originally named Kong Hock Keong temple (Cantonese-Hokkien Temple) and was once used not only for religious but also for social functions within the Chinese community, until the current Chinese Town Hall was constructed in the 1880's." - in: http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/George%20Town.html
Saturday, May 15, 2010
'Kyz Kala" means 'Girls' Castle': one story runs that forty girls hid in the Greater Kyz Kala at the time of the Mongol invasion. When they saw what the Mongols had done to the inhabitants of the city of Merv they committed suicide by jumping from the roof. Another local tale identifies the Greater Kyz Kala as the castle for the girls; its smaller neighbour as the boys' castle. It is said that young men wishing 10 marry the girl of their dreams should fire a projectile from the southern castle, to land in the northern one. Given the distance between the two, there are presumably many local bachelors.
The buildings were elite rural residences, and probably date from the 8th or 9th centuries. There remains much debate about the purpose of their distinctive corrugations: theories include helping to keep the interiors cool, ensuring the rapid run-off of potentially destructive rainwater, and simple decoration.
Nobody seems to know for certain why these walls are 'corrugated' in this way. Was it a system of drainage - was it purely decorative? Kyz-kala is one of the most intact ruins in Merv. It's hard to believe that at the height of its fame in the 10-11th century, this pile of ruined brick walls rivaled the great Islamic centers of learning such as Baghdad and Cairo." -in: http://turkmen.traveler.uz/component/content/article/44-turkmen-monuments/210-Kyz-Kala
Among the most impressive features of the Minden Cathedral are its tracery windows. The
intricate stonemasonry of the 6 windows in the nave is one of the high points of European sacral architecture.
The destruction of a church is always an attack of hope. It was thus the order of the day to proceed quickly with reconstruction and the work came to its first closure with the re-consecration in 1957. Although several style-adjusting corrections were carried out, the present-day cathedral was initially conceived as a replica of the 1270/90 Gothic Hall Church.
Because of lack of funds the cathedral is now missing one crossing tower that had been part of the appearance of the cathedral and the city from 1270 until 1945.
In the last few years the wish for the missing crossing tower has become louder favouring a Gothic tower like the one that stood in the olden days." - in: http://di-ve.com/Default.aspx?ID=71&Action=1&NewsId=63325¤tPage=9