March 31, 2016

2423 PANAMA - Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá (UNESCO WHS)

2423 Casco Viejo in Panama City - The Metropolitan Cathedral

Founded in 1519 by the conquistador Pedrarías Dávila, Panamá Viejo is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It was laid out on a rectilinear grid and marks the transference from Europe of the idea of a planned town. Abandoned in the mid-17th century, it was replaced by a "new town" (the Historic District - known as Casco Viejo, Spanish for Old Quarter), which has also preserved its original street plan, its architecture and an unusual mixture of Spanish, French and early American styles.

2422 ROMANIA (Prahova) - The "Nicolae Grigorescu" Memorial Museum in Câmpina

2422 - 1. The "Nicolae Grigorescu" Memorial Museum in Câmpina;
2. "Peasant woman inside"; 3. "At the well"; 4. "Shepherdess sitting down".

Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907) is the first of the founders of modern Romanian painting, followed by Ion Andreescu and Ştefan Luchian, having become a symbol for the young generations of artists who, during the first decades of the 20th century, were striving to identify and bring to light the values of Romanian spirituality. A strong and complex temperament, lyrical through his nature, he remains also the first Romanian painter of European circulation.

March 30, 2016

2421 CONGO-KINSHASA - The Pende people

The Pende or Phende (ethnonym: Bapende or Baphende; singular Mupende or Muphende) are an ethnic group found in the south-western Democratic Republic of the Congo also in the Kasai Occidental province around the diamond mines of Tshikapa. The Pende language is one of the Bantu languages. The approximate 250,000 Pende are mainly farmers who produce millet, maize, plantain, and peanuts. They are governed by family chiefs (djigo) who are sometimes assisted by various nobles.

2420 ANTARCTICA - The map of the continent

Located almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and surrounded by the Southern Ocean, Antarctica is covered almost entirely by ice that averages 1.9km in thickness. Having nearly twice the size of Australia, is the fifth-largest continent in area. It is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C.

March 29, 2016

2419 GUYANA - The Toco Toucan


More than 80% of Guyana is still covered by forests, ranging from dry evergreen and seasonal forests to montane and lowland evergreen rain forests. As a result, it has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. The avifauna of Guyana include a total of 796 species, of which one is endemic and 94 are rare or accidental. Among them are eight species of toucans, passerine birds brightly marked, with enormous, colorful bills.

2418 SENEGAL - Bassari (Aliyan) people

2418 Youg Bassari girls, granaries of millet and Flamboyant tree

The Bassari (A-liyan, Boin, Tenda Boeni) people are agro-pastoral Senegambian Tenda-speaking people of larger Niger-Congo language family living in West African countries of Senegal, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia. Most of them are concentrated on either side of the Senegal-Guinea border southwest of Kedougou. Currently Bassari population is estimated to be about 38,000, with 16,000 people living in Senegal, 15,500 in Guinea, 500 in Guinea Bissau and some small numbers scattered in the Gambia and Mauritania.

March 28, 2016

0427, 2417 GERMANY (Berlin) - Reichstag building

2417 Reichstag building (1)

Posted on 24.12.2012, 28.03.2016
The Reichstag building (German: Reichstagsgebäude) is probably the most famous landmark in Berlin. Even though it was evident still since 1871, immediately after the unification of Germany, that there wasn't an appropriate building to house the Imperial Diet (German: Reichstag), its construction began only after more than 10 years. In 1882 was held an architectural contest, and the winner, the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot, would actually see his Neo-Baroque project executed.

0427 Reichstag building (2)

The direct model for Wallot's design was Philadelphia's Memorial Hall, the main building of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The Reichstag's decorative sculptures, reliefs, and inscriptions were by sculptor Otto Lessing. In 1884, the foundation stone was finally laid by Kaiser Wilhelm I, at the east side of the Königsplatz, even if he didn't like the plans of the building. Before construction was completed in 1894, Wilhelm I died (in 1888, the Year of Three Emperors).

FRANCE (Île-de-France) - Paris, Banks of the Seine (UNESCO WHS)

Founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city its name, Paris was by the 12th century the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre, and the home of the University of Paris, one of the first in Europe. In the 18th century, it was the centre stage for the French Revolution, and became an important centre of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts, a position it still retains today. Since the 19th century, the built-up area of Paris has grown far beyond its administrative borders.

March 27, 2016

2416 MALAYSIA (Penang) - The statue of Captain Francis Light

In 1771, the british Francis Light, the then a private country trader, aged 31 years, proposed the idea of a British settlement in the neighbourhood of the Malay Peninsular to Warren Hastings, the East India Company's Governor of the Presidency of Fort William. He suggested that the island of Penang might serve as a "convenient magazine for the Eastern trade" but at that time his idea gained no ground. For about ten years he had his headquarters in Salang, where he revived a failed French trading post.

2415 MALAWI - A fisherman on Lake Malawi

Located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique) is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system. It is the ninth largest lake in the world, the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa, and home to more species of fish than any other lake. "The Lake of Stars" is the nickname coined by David Livingstone, due to lights from the lanterns of the fishermen in Malawi on their boats, that resemble, from a distance, stars in the sky.

2414 NETHERLANDS (Sint Maarten) - The Cupecoy Beach

Located at the Southwest corner of St Maarten, Cupecoy Beach is a small, clothing optional beach lined with beautiful rock formations and caves, and with usually calm waters as it is not exposed to the open Atlantic. It had some "stormy" times in the past decade. Not only development projects, but also Hurricanes and the drifts take their toll changing the face of the beach (and the amount of sand) constantly. Thus it has to get filled up with sand once in a while.

March 26, 2016

2412 GERMANY (Bavaria) - Nuremberg Castle

2412 The Imperial castle (Kaiserburg) in Nuremberg,
with Sinwell Tower (Sinwellturm)

Located in Middle Franconia, on the river Pegnitz, Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg) is often referred to as having been the 'unofficial capital' of the Holy Roman Empire, particularly because Imperial Diet (Reichstag) and courts met at Nuremberg Castle. The castle does not appear in any documents until 1105, but the archeological investigations during recent years indicate that the place was already settled around the year 1000.

2410-2411 UNITED STATES (New York) - New York City Subway map

Opened in 1904, the New York City Subway is one of the world's oldest public transit systems, one of the world's most used metro systems, and the metro system with the most stations (469) and the most trackage. It offers service 24 hours per day and every day of the year. Stations are located throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The system is also one of the world's longest (1,362km, including non-revenue trackage).

2409 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - Hereford Cathedral

Located on the River Wye, approximately 26km east of the border with Wales, Hereford has been recognised as a city since time immemorial. A town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes it as "Hereford in Wales". Its cathedral dates from 1079, and is dedicated to two patron saints, namely Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King. The latter was beheaded by Offa, King of Mercia in the year 792, at Sutton Walls, 6km from Hereford.

2408 GERMANY - Trumpet vine in the summer's sun

Even if it is originating in the United States, trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is well known in many European countries. Its flamboyant flowering made it obvious to even the least botanically-minded of the first English colonists in Virginia. Consequently the plant quickly made its way to England early in the 17th century, and from there was spread in Europe, especially that not needs special attention, just lots of light, and is highly resistant to drought, frost or excess moisture.

2407 UNITED KINGDOM (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands) - The Antarctic fur seal

2407 Youg Bull Fur Seal on Bird Island

Part of the South Georgia islands, so located south to the Antarctic Convergence, in Antarctic waters, Bird Island is currently a Site of Special Scientific Interest and hosts a biological research station. Even if has only  4.8km long and 800m wide, it is a paradise for many species of sea birds, thing noted as early as in 1775 by its discoverer, James Cook, who named the island. However, the largest population on the island is not of a birds species, but a mammals species, namely Antarctic fur seal (65,000, which means around 1 for every 6 m2 of the island).

March 25, 2016

2404-2406 CANADA - The map and the flag of the country

2404-2405 The map of Canada

Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west; to the north lies the Arctic Ocean. It shares land borders with the contiguous United States to the south, and the US state of Alaska to the northwest. This is the world's longest land border. It is the world's second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. The majority of Canada has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southerly areas are warm in summer. The capital of the country is Ottawa, and the most populous city is Toronto.

2406 The flag of Canada

Boreal forests prevail throughout the country, ice is prominent in the Arctic regions and through the Rocky Mountains, and the relatively flat Canadian Prairies facilitate agriculture. The Great Lakes feed the St. Lawrence River where lowlands host much of Canada's population. It has over 2,000,000 lakes, more than any other country, containing much of the world's fresh water. There are also fresh-water glaciers in the Canadian Rockies and the Coast Mountains. Western Canada has many volcanoes and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

March 24, 2016

2403 POLAND (West Pomerania) - Niechorze Lighthouse

Located in the village with the same name, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, at the edge of a steep cliff, with a height of 20m, Niechorze Lighthouse was commissioned by the German Ministry of Shipping in 1863 and started operating in 1866. Although it didn't suffer any damage in WWII, after its end there was a considerable delay re-starting the lighthouse, due to the erosion of the cliff. The authorities secured the cliff by putting large boulders and rock armour.

0039, 2402 CHINA (Hong Kong) - Images of Hong Kong

2402 Images of Hong Kong

Posted on 14.11.2011, 24.03.2016
Located on the southern coast of China, at the Pearl River Estuary and the South China Sea, Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely populated metropolises, but also one of the three most important financial centres alongside New York and London, and the world's number one tourist destination city. The 44th-largest economy in the world, Hong Kong ranks top 10 in GDP per capita, but also has the most severe income inequality among advanced economies.

0039 A panoramic view of Hong Kong Island from the Avenue of Stars,
located in Tsim Sha Tsui, in Kawloon Peninsula.

After the First Opium War (1839-1842), Hong Kong became a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island, followed by Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. In the 1980s, negotiations between the United Kingdom and China resulted in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which provided for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong on 30 June 1997. The territory became a special administrative region of China with a high degree of autonomy.

March 23, 2016

2397-2400 ROMANIA (Ialomiţa) - Lake and Resort Amara in 1970s

2397 Lake and Resort Amara (1)

Located in the middle of Bărăgan field, at only 7km from Slobozia, Lake Amara is a natural saltwater lake, former fluvial liman barred with silt, nestled in a depression (Crivaia), which actually is the old bed of  Ialomiţa River. The lake has S-shape, its surface reaches 132 ha, and the maximum depth is in present 3m. The Amara Resort located at the shores of the lake has around 2,000 accommodation places in three hotels. At 507 rooms, the Lebăda Hotel is one of the largest in the country.

2398 Lake and Resort Amara (2)

The lake is supplied by the runoff waters (precipitations) which washes the efflorescences produced at the surface of the rocks on the Romanian Plain, and by the groundwater (phreatic) laden with salts (predominantly sulphates and chlorides). Magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate, dissolved in large quantities in the lake water, give it a very bitter taste, which masks its salty taste. From this taste comes the name of the lake ("amară" means bitter in romanian).

2399 Lake and Resort Amara (2)

Because of the lack of a year-round constant fresh water supply and because of the evaporation process triggered by the dry climate, the concentration of salts in the lake is quite high. The hypertonic water is rich in sulphate salts, bicarbonate, chlorides, iodides, bromides and magnesium salts which led to the formation of a therapeutic mud used to treat different illnesses. The sapropelic mud contains around 40% organic and 41% mineral substances.

2400 Amara Resort - The park

In 1864 the settlement was taken over by the state and it was then that humans started dwelling there. Petru Poni was the first one to pick up on this city and he initiated the first chemical examination of the lake water in 1887. In the year of 1896 the county authorities have decided to establish a bathing resort here and exploit the hot spring of Amara. The shores of the lake are home to 10 species of birds which require protection.