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Parc Astérix, Paris, France

July 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Parc Astérix is a theme amusement park in France, based on the stories of Asterix (by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny). Situated approximately 35 km (20 miles) north of Paris in Plailly in the département of Oise, it opened in 1989.

It is especially well known for its large variety of roller-coasters, and has begun incorporating rides and themes from historic cultures such as the Romans and the ancient Greeks.

The park management feared a loss of business to Disneyland Paris prior to the opening of the latter, but the popularity of both has increased as a result, exhibiting a synergistic effect seen in other places with multiple theme parks, such as Los Angeles, California and Orlando, Florida.

Unlike Disneyland Paris, the park opens only from April to October and has generally shorter opening hours. However, it is easily visited in a day. It has its own exit on the A1.

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The island of Hispaniola

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The island of Hispaniola (from Spanish, La Española) is the second-largest island of the Antilles, lying between the islands of Cuba to the west, and Puerto Rico to the east. Christopher Columbus arrived there on December 5, 1492, and on his second voyage in 1493 founded the first Spanish colony in the New World on it.

Haiti occupies the western third of the island; the eastern two-thirds are the Dominican Republic.

The Taíno called the island Quisqueya (or Kiskeya), a name still in use in both countries. It poetically refers to the Dominican Republic in that country's national anthem, Quisqueyanos valientes. The Spanish rechristened the island Santo Domingo, and the corresponding term Saint-Domingue was taken up by the French. Another indigenous name, Ayiti or variants thereof, was reintroduced in 1804 as the name for independent Haiti. The name Haiti was originally intended to mean the entire island, not just the western part, and in fact the present-day Dominican Republic was known briefly as Spanish Haiti. Bohio is yet a third indigenous name for the island.

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The Dominican Republic

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Dominican Republic, (Spanish: República Dominicana, IPA [re'puβlika domini'kana]) is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule lasted for much of the 20th century; the move towards representative democracy has improved vastly since the death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in 1961. Dominicans sometimes refer to their country as Quisqueya, a name for Hispaniola used by indigenous Taíno people. The Dominican Republic is not to be confused with Dominica, another Caribbean country.

The indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hispaniola, on which the Dominican Republic is located, were the Taíno Amerindians. The Taínos were a seafaring branch of the South American Arawaks. Taíno means "the good" or "noble" in that native language. A system of cacicazgos (chiefdoms) was in place, and Marien, Maguana, Higuey, Magua and Xaragua (also written as Jaragua) were their names. These chiefdoms were then subdivided into subchiefdoms. The cacicazgos were based on a system of tribute, consisting of the food grown by the Taíno. Among the cultural signs that they left were cave paintings around the country, which have become touristic and nationalistic symbols of the Dominican Republic, and words from their language, including ‘hurricane’ (hurrakan) and ‘tobacco’ (tabakko).

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Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Dominican Republic

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Santo Domingo de Guzmán, population 2,061,200 (2003), estimated 2,253,437 in 2006, is the capital of the Dominican Republic. The city is located at 18°30′N 69°59′W, on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River. It is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of Spanish colonial rule in the new world.

Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Taíno Indians populated the island of Hispaniola, including the part now occupied by Haiti. At that time, a chieftain or cacique ruled the island through a complex, centralized government, a fact completely lost on the Europeans, who dismissed the natives as "savages."

Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus, founded Santo Domingo, which is today the oldest European city in the New World. In reality the city dates back to 1496, the period when the first Europeans settled there, although officially it was founded on August 5, 1498. The original layout of the city and a large portion of its defensive wall can still be appreciated today throughout the Colonial Zone, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The Colonial Zone, bordered by the Río Ozama, has also an impressive collection of 16th century buildings, including palatial houses and majestic churches that reflect the architectural style of the late medieval period.

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Estadio Modelo, Guayaquil, Ecuador

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Estadio Modelo is Calvi Guayaquil's multi-use stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 50,000. It was built in 1959.

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Estadio Isidro Romero Carbo (Monumental), Guayaquil, Ecuador

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

The Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo (Estadio Monumental de Barcelona before its renaming in 1997) is a football stadium located in the parish of Tarqui in the north of Guayaquil, Ecuador. It was inaugurated on December 27, 1987, and is the new home to the Ecuadorian football clubs Barcelona Sporting Club and Club Atlético Guayaquil (a lower-division team that belongs to Barcelona Sporting Club). Barcelona's first game was against Peñarol. The Estadio Monumental replaced the Estadio Modelo Alberto Spencer.

The Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo has a capacity of 89,932 spectators, four health care facilities, apparel-and-souvenir shops, and restaurants, on a total area of about 5,100 square metres. The football field is 105 metres long and 70 metres wide.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Estadio Quisqueya, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Estadio Quisqueya is a multi-use stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It is currently used mostly for baseball matches. The stadium holds 25,000.

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Estadio Olimpico Juan Pablo Duarte, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 

Estadio Olimpico Juan Pablo Duarte stadium in Santo Domingo.

Seats: 35.000

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