You are hereplaces

places


Monks and nuns become hoteliers in economically challenging times: monastic doors open for travelers in Europe

those staying at the Monasterium Poortackere in Ghent, Belgium, can choose between luxe and the spartan

(quote)

When Kathleen Mazzocco was researching places for an affordable family vacation in Italy back in 2002, booking a room in a convent was “like shooting in the dark.” The guidebook to religious lodgings that Ms. Mazzocco used had no photographs, and she wasn’t sure the information was up-to-date. But by the time Ms. Mazzocco, a public relations consultant from Lake Oswego, Ore., returned to Italy last year, making a reservation at a monastery was not so different from booking a regular hotel. She found the cliffside Monastero S. Croce, in Liguria, on the Internet, viewed photos of it on the monastery’s own Web site, sent an e-mail message asking about availability, heard back promptly, and, at the end of her stay, paid with a credit card. “They’d entered the modern age,” she said.

Friar Fausto tends Monastero S. Croce's bar

For centuries Europe’s convents and monasteries have quietly provided inexpensive lodging to itinerants and in-the-know travelers, but now they’re increasingly throwing open their iron-bound doors to overnight visitors. They’ve begun Web sites - many with English translations and detailed information about sampling monastic life for a night - and signed on with Internet booking services. Some have even added spa offerings. Occupancy has shot up at many places, and some of the more centrally located are often fully booked.  read more »

At top of Earth, Arctic ice shrunk by 25%, left islandlike ice cap surrounded by open water, 181 Alaskan villages face erosion

this summer saw the first-ever recorded opening of both potential Arctic Ocean routes - the Northwest passage and the Northern Sea Route

(quote)

This summer, for the first time, both the fabled Northwest Passage through the upper reaches of North America and the Northern Sea Route above Russia opened up, apart from drifting ice. Overall, the expanse of Arctic sea ice was the second smallest in the 30 years of monitoring (summer 2007 was the smallest), and that left an islandlike polar ice cap surrounded by open water. In just the past five years, summer ice has shrunk by more than 25 percent, and so has its average thickness. One consequence of this change is that much of the sun's heat formerly reflected back out to space by the ice sheets is now being absorbed, entrenching the warming process. The acceleration of the ice melt is outstripping earlier predictions of a basically ice-free Arctic summer by mid- or late century. NASA climate scientist H. Jay Zwally now anticipates that most of the Arctic will lose summer ice in only five to 10 years. "We appear to be going through a tipping point," he says.

Newtok, Alaska, in spring, 2007, as viewed from its water tower. Boardwalks squish into the muck in Newtok, which erosion has turned into an island  read more »

12 Oct 1492: Christopher Columbus lands in the Bahamas, believes he has reached East Asia

(quote)

Shortly after 2 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 12, 1492, a crewmember aboard the Spanish ship Pinta spotted land. The Pinta and the two ships she traveled with, the Nina and the Santa Maria, all drew in their sails and waited for sunrise. They had achieved their goal: to find the continent west of the Atlantic Ocean.

Several hours later, Christopher Columbus and several members of his crew sailed to shore to meet the native people. "As I saw that they were very friendly to us, and perceived that they could be much more easily converted to our holy faith by gentle means than by force," Columbus wrote in his journal, "I presented them with some red caps, and strings of beads to wear upon the neck, and many other trifles of small value, wherewith they were much delighted, and became wonderfully attached to us."

Columbus named the new land San Salvador and claimed it for Spain. He continued sailing among what are now considered to be the Bahamas, and visited Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and Cuba, the latter of which he took to be the mainland of Asia.

Contrary to popular legend, Columbus did not believe the Earth was flat. He did severely underestimate the size of the Earth, believing the distance from Europe to Asia to measure about 4,450 kilometers, about a fifth of the actual distance. Critics contended that Columbus would never be able to reach Asia sailing through the Atlantic Ocean.

(unquote)

Image courtesy Wikipedia

37th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta marks 225th anniversary of first manned balloon flight

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

(quote)

Launched in 1972, the Albuquerque balloon festival draws enthusiasts from all over the world. This year marks the 225th anniversary of hot air balloon flights, with participants representing 42 states and 24 countries. Ballooning has come a long way from the first "flying machines" in France in 1783, which flew a duck, a rooster and a lamb in a smoke-filled balloon. The first human passengers were carried 3,000 feet on November 21, 1783.

Dawn Patrol at Albuquerque balloon festival

Amongst the most popular events is a mass ascension, in which all participants rise into the sky in two waves. During the Dawn Patrol, above, pilots take off before sunrise and appraise wind conditions for the others. The festival lasts nine days. This year it runs from October 4 through October 12. Albuquerque has a long association with ballooning, going back more than a century.

local wind phenomenon known as the Albuquerque Box

Because of a local wind phenomenon known as the "Albuquerque Box," the area is ideally suited to a balloon festival. In October of every year, the wind follows a predictable pattern, blowing northerly at higher altitudes and southerly at lower altitudes, allowing for a smooth navigation.

smiley  read more »

Homeless: lost penguins stranded on Brazilian beaches get lift home from air force

Brazilian coast guard officer rescues a penguin in Cabo Frio, about 90 miles from Rio

(quote)

In between the bronzed bodies in skimpy thongs soaking up the rays on Copacabana beach, a tiny black and white bundle of feathers struggles to emerge from the surf. Exhausted and emaciated, its bones poking through the blubber, the young penguin finally collapses on the sand. It has strayed thousands of miles from home, one of more than 1,000 penguins to have washed up on the Brazilian coast this year, some of which have died along the way.

They have come ashore further north than ever before, with some making landfall just 400 miles from the Equator. Brazilian coastguards have found themselves acting as penguin first-aiders, protecting them from an over-enthusiastic public whose first instinct is often to stick the birds in an ice bucket. Hundreds of penguins have been returned to their native territory in the south Atlantic ocean by an air force plane after being found along Brazil's coast.

two of the more than 1,000 penguins that have washed ashore. Many have died  read more »

03 Sep 301: Saint Marinus found San Marino, one of the smallest nations and the world's oldest republic still in existence

(quote)

Saint Marinus was the founder of a chapel and monastery, in 301, from where the world's oldest surviving republic, San Marino, grew. Tradition holds that he was a stonemason by trade who came from the island of Rab, on the other side of the Adriatic Sea (in what is now part of modern Croatia), fleeing persecution for his Christian beliefs in the Diocletianic Persecution. Still known only by the single name Marinus (lit. of the sea), he became a Deacon, and was ordained by Gaudentius, the Bishop of Rimini; later, he was recognised and accused by an insane woman of being her estranged husband, so he quickly fled to Monte Titano to build a chapel-monastery and live as a hermit. There he built a chapel and monastery. Marinus was canonised as a saint, and later, the State of San Marino grew up from the centre created by the monastery. His feast day/memorial day is 3 September, commemorating the day, in 301, when he founded what became known as San Marino, which is also the state's national holiday. He is venerated solely in the Roman Catholic Church.

According to legend, he died in the winter of 366 and his last words were: "Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine" ("I leave you free from both men"). This somewhat mysterious phrase is most likely to refer to the two "men" from whose oppressive power Saint Marinus had decided to separate himself, becoming a hermit on Mount Titano: respectively the Emperor and the Pope. This affirmation of freedom (first and foremost fiscal franchise) from both the Empire and the Papal States, however legendary, has always been the inspiration of the tiny republic.

(unquote)

Image courtesy Interesting facts about San Marino

20 Aug 1597. Dutch East India Company's first fleet of four ships returns to The Netherlands from the Far East

(quote)

The Dutch East India Company: VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie)
In March 1594 some Dutch merchants founded a “Company of Far Lands” at Amsterdam. Their objective was to send two fleets to the East Indies. The first fleet of four ships reached Bantam and returned to the Netherlands in August 1597. Only three ships with a small cargo of pepper returned, but it covered than the costs of the expedition. The next step to this first enterprise was the founding of five different companies (voorcompagniën). In 1598 twenty-two ships left Dutch ports for the East Indies. In 1601 sixty-five ships were bound for the East Indies.

As early as 1598 the Staten Generaal suggested that various companies should amalgamate. On March 20, 1602 finally from a fusion of six small Dutch companies the VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) was born. The unification into one company did not happen spontaneously, but was enforced by the Dutch government. The charter (octrooi) was valid for 21 years. The Staten Generaal granted a monopoly on the trade in the East Indies to the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC). The area of trade granted to the company was called the octrooigebied (trade zone). Its purpose was not only trade; the Compagnie also had to fight the enemies of the Republic and prevent other European nations to enter the East India trade. During its history of 200 years, the VOC became the largest company of its kind, trading spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and pepper mainly) and other products (tea, silk and chinese porcelain). The VOC was virtually a state within a state.

(unquote)  read more »

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed

Twitter

WcP Blog on Twitter

Facebook

WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search



Archive Calendar

December 2020
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031


Random image

Poem in Art: "Where happy spirits, crown'd with circlets bright / Of starry beam, and gloriously bedight" - John Keats

Poll

Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden."
- Author Unknown

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
- Cicero

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Great culture sharing. This is really important to show all over the world and different cultures and nature to whole world." - Anonymous (January 27, 2019)
  • "This is one of the most incredible blogs I've read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!" - Anonymous (May 29, 2018)
  • "I am just happy to know about your website. It's informative and valuable for me. Thanks for sharing interesting info with us. Keep doing best in future." - Kelvin (May 28, 2018)
  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "Undoubtedly enjoyed this blog! You set the subject content with exceptional abilities and a bit on the right track." - Lisa (December 17, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • "Worldculturepictorial.com/blog is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.