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Papeete - the capital of French Polynesia

March 10th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Papeete (translation to English means "water from a basket", see footnote for variant spelling) (pronounced /papeʔete/) is the capital of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The commune (municipality) of Papeete is located on the island of Tahiti, in the administrative subdivision of the Windward Islands, of which Papeete is the administrative capital. The French High Commissioner also resides in Papeete. It is the primary center of Tahitian and French Polynesian public and private governmental, commercial, industrial and financial services, the hub of French Polynesian tourism and a commonly used Port of call. The Windward Islands are themselves part of the Society Islands.

The area that now constitutes Papeete was first settled by the British missionary William Crook of the London Missionary Society in 1818. Queen Pōmare IV moved her court to Papeete and made it her capital in the late 1820s, and the town grew into a major regional shipping and transportation center. Papeete was retained as Tahiti's capital after France took control of the Tahitian Islands and made them a protectorate in 1842. Herman Melville was imprisoned in Papeete in 1842; his experiences there became the basis for the novel Omoo. Paul Gauguin journeyed to and toured Papeete in 1891 and, except for a two-year period in 1893-1895, never returned to France. Robert Louis Stevenson also spent time in Papeete in 1888. Half of Papeete was destroyed by a major fire in 1884, which then prohibited the use of native building materials. A major cyclone caused extensive damage to the city in 1906, and a French naval vessel was sunk in the harbor by two German men-of war, which bombarded Papeete. The growth of the city was boosted by the decision to move the nuclear weapon test range from Algeria to the atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa, some 1,500 km at the east of Tahiti; this originated in particular in the construction of the Faa'a airport next to Pape'ete, the only international airport in French Polynesia. In 1983, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built the Papeete Tahiti Temple here because of the large number of members in the region. On September 5, 1995 the government of Jacques Chirac conducted the first of the last series of nuclear test detonations off the shores of Moruroa. A resulting riot in Papeete lasted for two days and damaged the international airport, injured 40 people, and scared away tourism for some time. (Similar rioting occurred after another French nuclear test in the same area in 1987).


Masada, Israel

March 7th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada became famous for its attributed mythic significance in the First Jewish-Roman War (Great Jewish Revolt), when a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to a mass suicide of the site's jewish Sicarii fugitives when defeat became imminent. Today, Masada is a very popular tourist destination.

The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 1300 feet high, dropping off to the Dead Sea, and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet high; the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult. The top of the plateau is flat and rhomboid-shaped, about 1800 by 900 feet. The center of the plateau is at 31°18′55″N, 35°21′13″E. There was a casemate wall around the top of the plateau totaling 4300 feet long and 12 foot thick with many towers, and the fortress included storehouses, barracks, an armory, the palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates.


Yosemite National Park, California, USA

March 3rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Yosemite National Park is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. The park covers an area of 1,189 mi² (3,081 km²) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Yosemite is visited by over 3.5 million visitors each year, with most only seeing the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. About 89% of the park is designated Wilderness. It was also the first park set aside by the U.S. federal government. Although not the first designated national park, Yosemite was a focal point in the development of the national park idea, largely owing to the work of people like John Muir.


Rospuda valley, Poland

February 28th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Rospuda - a river in northeastern Poland. It flows through Sudovia and northwestern part of a large wilderness area of Puszcza Augustowska. From hydrological standpoint, it is a tributary of the Biebrza river. The Rospuda valley and its precious ecosystem is currently seriously endangered by govermental plans to buid an expressway without respect to national and international regulations. Despite strong protests in Poland and abroad the construction has started.


An ecologically significant region of the Rospuda valley is currently (February 2007) endangered by the construction of the Augustow bypass, being a part of the Via Baltica expressway. The planned expressway and the construction work will cause environmental damage in that wilderness area. The noise and pollution inherent in construction work would harm the breeding grounds of various bird species, some of which are protected, as well as some endangered plant species. The over 500 meters long bridge over the valley is likely to impair the water system, since strengthening of the soil would be required in order to support the pillars.


Another cool quality place, Kenya

February 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Another cool quality place in Kenya

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Open air market, Kenya

February 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Open air market in Eastern Kenya

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Newfoundland, Canada

February 14th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Newfoundland — is a large island off the east coast of North America, and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland is often referred to as "The Middle of the North Atlantic", but it is actually more than 1000 km away from it. The island of Newfoundland (originally called Terra Nova) was most likely first named by the Italian John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) in 1497. The province where this island is located was also called "Newfoundland" until 2001, when its name was changed to "Newfoundland and Labrador" (the postal abbreviation was later changed from NF to NL). The island was known as Vinland to the Norse.

The island of Newfoundland is separated from the Labrador Peninsula by the Strait of Belle Isle and from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. It blocks the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the world's largest estuary. Newfoundland's nearest neighbour is the tiny French overseas community of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.


The Hintertux Glacier, Austria

February 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Hintertux Glacier is located in the Zillertal valley of Tyrol, Austria. It offers all-year skiing and the resort guarantees snow throughout the year. The highest point of the glacier is the Olperer summit with a height 3476m above sea-level. The highest lift goes to 3250 m. The ski-area is made up from 225 km of pistes and 62 lifts. A special attraction is the so-called "Glacier Circuit", a run of 72 km and 1,500m of altitude difference. The name Hintertux also refers to a small village lying at the foot of the glacier.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Wojciech Ilkiewicz