September 25, 2016

2774 FRANCE (Saint Barthélemy) - The flamboyant tree

Flamboyant tree or Royal poinciana (Delonix regia) is a species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae, noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. It is endemic to the Madagascar's dry deciduous forests but has been introduced into tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree.

2773 CHINA (Inner Mongolia) - Camel racing

The Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), the camel with two humps, is one of the tavunhorshoo (five snouts), the five domesticated animals on which the mongolian's herding economy depends (horse, cow/yak, sheep, goat, and camel). With its tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, it enabled the travel of caravans on the Silk Road. A Bactrian camel can go nine days without water, 33 days without food.

2772 ITALY (Campania) - Mount Vesuvius

2772 Vesuvius in 1941

Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, about 9km east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc, and consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier much higher structure. It is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and several other settlements. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years.

September 24, 2016

2770, 2771 ROMANIA (Sibiu) - The Historic Centre of Sibiu and its Ensemble of Squares (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)

2770 Sibiu in 1898
Located in Transylvania, Romania, Sibiu (German: Hermannstadt) straddles the Cibin River, a tributary of the river Olt. The first official record referring to the Sibiu area comes from 1191, when Pope Celestine III confirmed the existence of the free prepositure of the German settlers in Transylvania, the prepositure having its headquarters in Sibiu, named Cibinium at that time. The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Géza II of Hungary (1141-1162), the main task of the Transylvanian Saxons being to defend the southeastern border of the Kingdom of Hungary.

2771 The Big Square in Sibiu in 1900

Although Sibiu is an ancient settlement dating from Neolithic, the overall form and shape of the city is medieval. Its evolving lines of strong fortifications, together with its characteristic street pattern, squares and building plots, developed and grew especially following the Tatar invasion of 1241. In the 14th century, it was already an important trade centre, and from 1366 onwards became known as Hermannstadt. In 1376, the craftsmen were divided in 19 guilds. Sibiu became the most important ethnic German city among the seven cities that gave Transylvania its German name Siebenbürgen (literally seven citadels).

2768, 2769 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Chamrousse

2768 Chamrousse in summertime

Chamrousse is a ski resort in southeastern France, in the Belledonne Mountain Range near Grenoble in the Isère department. It is located in a commune of the same name and is situated on the Recoin at 1,650m and the Roche Béranger at 1,750m. Actually, it is made up of two small towns: Chamrousse 1650 (Nook) and Chamrousse 1750-1700 (Roche Beranger - Arselle Ski Area) which are interconnected by ski slopes. The resort is cleverly built within the forest and has exceptional panoramic views overlooking Grenoble on the valley floor...

2769 Chamrousse in wintertime

The ski-lifts reach the Cross of Chamrousse at 2,253m. There are more than 90km of downhill runs at Chamrousse and 24 ski lifts. There are also 37km of trails for cross-country skiing. Cross-country skiing can be practised from the opening of the resort to early or mid-April. Skiers here can discover or rediscover the Olympic slopes and the technical Casserousse Couloir which provides over 850 metres of vertical ski descent. But Chamrousse is not only for skiers, there are many outdoor activities on offer for example; Paragliding, Snowshoeing, Snow mobiling and Ice driving.

2767 FRANCE (Saint Martin) - A coconut tree

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. It is a large palm, growing up to 30m tall, with pinnate leaves 4-6m long, and pinnae 60-90cm long. On fertile soil, it can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30.

September 23, 2016

2766 ROMANIA (Iași) - Mihail Sadoveanu (1880-1961)

Mihail Sadoveanu was a Romanian novelist, short story writer, journalist and political figure. Often seen as the leading author of his generation, and generally viewed as one of the most representative Romanian writers, he was also believed to be a first-class story-teller, and received praise especially for his nature writing and his depictions of rural landscapesbut also he is remembered mostly for his historical and adventure novels. An exceptionally prolific author by Romanian standards, he published over a hundred individual volumes, and his career spanned five decades.

September 22, 2016

2168, 2185, 2765 FRANCE (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes) - Belledonne

2168 Belledonne range

Posted on 30.12.2015, 03.01.2016, 22.09.2016
Belledonne is a mountain range in the Dauphiné Alps (part of the French Alps) in southeast France, noted for the spectacular scenery, numerous ski areas, interesting geology, and a diverse range of alpine land types and uses. The southern end of the range forms the eastern wall of the mountains that surround the city of Grenoble. The highest point is the Grand Pic de Belledonne (2,977m).

2185 Lakes in Belledonne range

The range is delineated by several valleys, including the Grésivaudan Valley on the west, the Arc River to the north and the Romanche River to the south. The range counts dozens of peaks over 2,500m, more than 10 glaciers, and many alpine lakes. The Pas de la Coche pass is the only natural break point in the range, which is believed that Hannibal to have passed when he crossed the Alps with his army.

2765 Achard Lake in Belledonne range

The mountains are home to marmots, chamois, ibex mountain goats and grouse. Reportedly, wolves have returned since 1998, coming from Italy and the press regularly echoes complaints from shepherds about wolves attacking their sheep. The ibex had completely disappeared, but early 1983, 13 females and 7 males were brought in from Switzerland and by spring 2002, their population had risen to 900 heads.

2764 UNITED STATES - Apache Devil Dancers

2764 Apache Devil Dancers in Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation
(Sacramento Mountains / New Mexico)

The Apache believe that langsyne their ancestors lived alongside with supernatural beings. The common belief is that there are spirits that live within certain mountains and underground realms. Part of the Apache creation story incorporates the belief that they are the blood relatives of the mountains, trees, rocks, and the wind. One of the most important pieces to the beliefs of the Apache is a holy being sometimes referred to as White-Painted Woman, but also known as Changing Woman or White Shell Woman.

September 21, 2016

2763 FRANCE (Saint Barthélemy) - Saint-Jean

Saint-Jean is a quartier located in the northern part of the island. It contains one of the best known beaches on the island and is the centre of water sport activity. This popular neighbourhood also comprises the second largest shopping area on the island. Some of the islands most magnificent villas, hotels, and restaurants can also be found in this city. In the hills, luxury hotels and pretty villas are hidden in the tropical vegetation and a profusion of colourful flowers.