Tuesday, February 23, 2010
|The dolphins and the Californian sea lions perform in the shows. Trainers of sea mammals train them. It is a rare profession, which requires thorough knowledge of animal physiology and psychology, and at last but not least, love. The basic aim of staging performances with dolphins and Californian sea lions is to educate the public, to acquaint the visitors and especially the young people in a most attractive way with these animals which are one of the most interesting sea animals, with peculiarities of their life and behavior, to foster love to the animals and sense of responsibility towards the living nature and the necessity to preserve it. Every summer, merry water festivals are held in the dolphinarium on weekend evenings in which a group of synchronized swimming, dancers and acrobats perform. These are really exotic shows. Dora sent this lovely card to me.|
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Once the residence of the Muslim rulers of Granada and their court, the site became a Christian palace. Within the Alhambra, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, erected the Palace of Charles V in 1527. After being allowed to fall into disrepair, the Alhambra was "rediscovered" in the 19th century. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions and exhibits the country's most famous Islamic architecture, together with Christian 16th-century and later interventions in buildings and gardens. This pretty picture postcard was sent to me by Anna of Torremolinos.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Gytheio is located in the north-east corner of Mani. It lies on the north-western end of the Laconian Gulf. Gytheio was built on a hill called Koumaro or Larysio in one of the most fertile areas in Mani, near the mouth of the Gythius River, which is usually dry and has been given the nickname of Xerodas, meaning 'dry'. Further north-east is the delta of the Evrotas River. Gytheio is built on hilly ground overlooking the Laconian Gulf. Offshore of Gytheio are several small islands, the most important of these being Cranae, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Gytheio is only 40 km southeast of Sparta. This lovely card was sent to me by Dear Friend Anna Maria of Athens.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Sunday, February 07, 2010
The airport opened for commercial operations in 1998, replacing Kai Tak, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with over 40 destinations) and the rest of Asia. Despite a relatively short history, Hong Kong International Airport has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in just ten years.
HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings and operates twenty-four hours a day. The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong and is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Hong Kong (cargo) and Asia Jet (private). It is a secondary hub for Air New Zealand, to a lesser extent Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, all of which use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australasia and Europe. United Airlines also uses Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights from the United States to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.
Flights are operated by roughly 90 airlines to over 150 cities across the globe, and in 2008 it was the 12th busiest airport worldwide in terms of passenger throughput, registering 47,857,746. HKIA is also an important contributor to the Hong Kong economy, with 60,000 people employed at the airport.
In 2008, it was the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, handling 3,660,901 tons of cargo.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
The Catholic University of Leuven, or Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. Pope Martin V founded the Old University in 1425. After the disruptions of the French Revolutionary Wars, it was re-founded in 1816 as the State university of Louvain and converted into the Catholic University of Leuven in 1835.
In 1968 the university split to form two institutions:
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dutch-speaking, situated in Leuven; and
- Université catholique de Louvain, French-speaking, situated in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
The new main library was built between 1921 and 1928 and designed by the American architect Whitney Warren in Low Countries neo-renaissance style. Its monumentality is a reflection of the Allied victory against Germany. It is one of the largest university buildings in the city. In 1940, during the second German invasion of Leuven, the building largely burnt down, including its (at that time) 900,000 manuscripts and books. Rebuilt after the war in accordance with Warren's design, it is now the Central Library of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. The paintwork decorations of the original design were completed only in 2000, and marked the 575th anniversary of the university's foundation. Thank you Thomas for sending me this card from Leuven.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
The Forster family of Northumberland provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. The family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (d. 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt, and his estates, including the castle, were sold to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham (husband of his sister Dorothy) under an Act of Parliament to settle the debts.
The castle deteriorated but was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration, finally bought it. During the Second World War, the Royal Navy corvette HMS Bamborough Castle was named after it.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
This botanical site contains a variety of flora and fauna that ranges over 4 climate zones; from rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane oak, rhododendron, to the coniferous forests, to the alpine meadow plants, and to the stunted bushes of summit zone. The mountain is also known for its many carnivorous plant and orchid species, most notably, the Nepenthes rajah. It is also home to a multitude of endemic animal species, including the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm. The park also plays host to a variety of birds, insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Mount Kinabalu is one of the youngest non-volcanic mountains in the world. It was formed within the last 10 to 35 million years. The mountain still grows at a rate of 5 millimetres a year.
Monday, February 01, 2010
The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulation the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians, sparked worldwide knowledge of its existence in 1814. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. The largest restoration project was undertaken between 1975 and 1982 by the Indonesian government and UNESCO, following which the monument was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage. Once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.
The second largest city in Lombok, Cakranegara houses an important temple for Hindu follower in Lombok. This architecture beauty is a remnant of the Karangasem Kingdom of Bali, when it ruled Lombok in the past. This temple is the largest temple in Lombok. Meru temple was built in 1970 by Balinese prince Anak Agung Made Karang, as an attempt to unite all the small kingdoms on Lombok since this temple was built as a symbol of universe.
Meru Temple has three courtyards; the outer courtyard houses a kukul (wooden gong) tower. The middle courtyard houses two buildings for the worshipers to retreat and for the gamelan orchestra. The inner courtyard houses 33 small shrines, a large Padmasana, and three multi-roofed Meru shrines, which are dedicated to Hindu trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
Prambanan is the ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is currently the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and also one of the largest Hindu temples in Southeast Asia. It is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu temple architecture, and by the towering 47m high central building inside a large complex of individual temples.