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31/01/2011

Amsterdam

30/01/2011

Perranporth (Porthpyran), Cornwall, England


This photo was taken in Perranporth (Porthpyran in Cornish, stands for "Saint Piran's cove", Saint Piran being the patron saint of Cornwall) is a popular surfing tourist destination on the north coast of Cornwall, England, in the UK.
The village, and its large sandy beach, face the Atlantic, with hundreds of miles of uninterrupted fetch producing large waves, making it one of the most popular surfing destinations in Britain, along with neighbouring breaks at Newquay, Chapel Porth and Porthtowan.

28/01/2011

Buddha Statue, Pha That Luang, Vientiane, Laos.


This photo was taken at Pha That Luang, in Vientiane, Laos.
Pha That Luang (Great Stupa in Lao) is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa on the eastern outskirts of Vientiane, Laos. See also a previous post on Pha That Luang.

27/01/2011

Springbok, Sandwich Harbour, Namibia


This photo was taken in Sandwhich Harbour, in the Namib desert, Namibia. The Springbok (Afrikaans and Dutch: spring = jump; bok = antelope or goat) (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium sized brown and white gazelle that stands about 75 cm high. Springbuck males weigh between 33-48 kg and the females between to 30-44 kg. They can reach running speeds of up to 80 km/h. The latin name marsupialis derives from a pocket-like skin flap which extends along the middle of the back from the tail onwards. When the male springbok is showing off his strength to attract a mate, or to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape, which in turn emits a strong floral scent of sweat. This ritual is known as pronking from the Afrikaans, meaning to boast or show off.
Springbok inhabit the dry inland areas of south and southwestern Africa. Their range extends from the northwestern part of South Africa through the Kalahari desert into Namibia and Botswana. They used to be very common, forming some of the largest herds of mammals ever documented, but their numbers have diminished significantly since the 19th century due to hunting and fences from farms blocking their migratory routes.

26/01/2011

Helvetia Shipwreck Rhossili Bay, Gower, Wales


This is a photo of the shipwreck of the Helvetia, which has been at Rhossili since 1887. The Helvetia which wrecked during a severe gale, laden with 500 tons of Oak reportedly made the locals very rich from the salvage.
The ocean-stripped oak carcass of the Helvetia shipwreck is today an easily recognised landmark of Rhossili and must be one of the most photographed of objects on the Gower peninsula as a whole.

24/01/2011

Aldwych (disused) Tube Station, Strand, Piccadilly, London


This is a photo of Aldwych tube station a closed London Underground station in the City of Westminster, originally opened as Strand in 1907. The station was the terminus of a short Piccadilly line branch from Holborn. The disused station building is situated close to the junction of Strand and Surrey Street. During its life time, the branch was the subject of a number of unrealised extension proposals that would have seen the tunnels through the station extended southwards, usually to Waterloo.

Suffering from low passenger numbers, the station and branch were considered for closure several times, but survived as a weekday peak hours only service until closed in 1994, when the cost of replacing the lifts at Aldwych was considered too high compared to the income generated. The station has long been popular as a filming location and has appeared as itself and as other London Underground stations in a variety of films.

23/01/2011

Rob and Nick Carter, "Read Colors Not Words" (2009)


This photo is a closeup of a 2009 neon light installation from Rob and Nick Carter called "Read Colours Not Words". You can also refer to a previous post showing a series of photos of this installation.

22/01/2011

Ampelmännchen (little traffic light man) by Karl Peglau (1927–2009), Berlin, Germany


This photo was taken in Berlin, Germany, and represents the Ampelmännchen (little traffic light man). This is the symbolic person shown on traffic lights at pedestrian crossings in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR -East Germany). Prior to the German reunification in 1990, the two German states had different forms for the Ampelmännchen, with a generic human figure in West Germany, and a generally male figure wearing a hat in the east. The Ampelmännchen is a beloved symbol in Eastern Germany, "enjoy[ing] the privileged status of being one of the few features of communist East Germany to have survived the end of the Iron Curtain with his popularity unscathed." After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and became a popular souvenir item in the tourism business.

14/01/2011

Manhattan's Chinatown (紐約華埠, 纽约华埠)


This photo was taken in Manhattan's Chinatown, home to one of the largest concentrations of Chinese People in the Western hemisphere is located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Manhattan's Chinatown is one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia.

12/01/2011

London Eye or Millenium Wheel, London


No need really to introduce the London Eye.
- Sir Richard Rogers, winner of the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, wrote of the London Eye in a recent book about the project :“The Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or rich people, but everybody. That's the beauty of it: it is public and accessible, and it is in a great position at the heart of London”
- Writing for G2 in an article from August 2007, Steve Rose described the Eye as follows : “The Eye... exists in a category of its own.... It essentially has to fulfil only one function, and what a brilliantly inessential function it is: to lift people up from the ground, take them round a giant loop in the sky, then put them back down where they started. That is all it needs to do, and thankfully, that is all it does”.
On the 5th of June 2008, it was announced that 30 million had ridden the London Eye since its opening in March 2000.

09/01/2011

Baie de Douarnenez, Finistère, Brittany, France


This photo was taken in the Baie de Douarnenez, Brittany, France, a bay in Finistère, between the Crozon peninsula to the north and the cap Sizun to the south. It is formed of a vast semi-circular basin over 16 km wide and 20 km deep. Although half-closed-off to the west by Cap de la Chèvre, it opens out again to a width of 9 km on the side of the Mer d'Iroise.

03/01/2011

Empire State Building, Manhattan, New York


This is a photo of the Empire State Building, the 102-story landmark Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building once again became the tallest building in New York City and New York State.
You can also look at other New York posts on my New York folder.

Palmwag, Kuenene & Damaraland, Namibia


This photo was taken in Palmwag, a nature reserve in northern Namibia. It is located in the Kunene region, in north-western Damaraland, half way between Swakopmund and the Etosha National Park. It covers an area of 400.000 hectars. Wildlife in Palwag include leopards, lions, cheetas, mountain zebras, giraffes, springboks, kudus, and desert elephants. The reserve also has the largest population of black rhinos in Africa; a local organization called Save the Rhino Trust protects them.

02/01/2011

Autoire, Quercy, France


This photo was taken in Autoire, Quercy, Lot, France.
This is a beautifully preserved ancient Quercy village of character, with an 800 year history, seemingly undisturbed by the modern world. Autoire has nestled its square pigeon lofts, its brown tiled roofs and its country and small manor houses in the hollow of a cirque on the limestone plateau between Figeac and Gramat. In this arid land, only the Autoire, a fast-flowing stream that lends its name to the village, brings freshness from its waterfalls.
Autoire is classified amongst "the most beautiful villages in France" ("Les Plus Beaux Villages de France"), a label attributed by a french association to villages presenting several interests and meeting certain criteria (rural size ie less than 2,000 inhabitants, at least 2 protected sites or monuments). Today, the association includes 154 villages spread over 21 regions and 69 départements. They aim to avoid certain pitfalls such as villages turning into soulless museums or, on the contrary, "theme parks". Their well-reasoned and passionate ambition is to reconcile villages with the future and to restore life around the fountain or in the square shaded by hundred-year-old lime and plane trees. Please also check at the official website www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/ or the unofficial one www.villagesdefrance.free.fr/. You can also check my Flickr Set.