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Zig Zag Railway, Lithgow, Australia

August 6th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Zig Zag Railway, bottom points the yards and storage sheds for the steam engines of the zig zag railway.

The Zig Zag Railway is a heritage railway at Lithgow in New South Wales, Australia on the site of the famous Great or Lithgow Zig Zag which operated between 1870 and 1910. As built, the line formed part of the main line railway westward from Sydney across the Blue Mountains and served to lower the line from its summit into the Lithgow valley on the western flank of the mountains.

The original plan, by the newly-appointed Engineer-in-Charge, John Whitton, had been to build a 3km tunnel, but this was beyond the resources of the state of New South Wales at the time. The zig zag alternative still required several short tunnels and some viaducts.

On the eastern side of the range, the first Blue Mountains Zig Zag (known as the Lapstone Zig Zag) opened near Glenbrook in 1867. It ascended Lapstone Hill on a gradient of 1:30 to 1:33 (~ 3 - 3.3%), which contoured up the side of the range with comparatively light earthwork.


USS Lexington CV-16 aircraft carrier, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA

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

USS Lexington (CV/CVA/CVS/CVT-16), known as "The Blue Ghost", was an Essex-class aircraft carrier, the fifth United States Naval ship named in honor of the Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington. Laid down as Cabot on 15 July 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., the ship was renamed Lexington 16 June 1942, after the loss of Lexington (CV-2) in the Battle of the Coral Sea. She was launched 23 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson; and commissioned 17 February 1943, Captain Felix Budwell Stump, USN in command.

After Caribbean shakedown and yard work at Boston, Lexington sailed for Pacific action via the Panama Canal, arriving Pearl Harbor August 9, 1943. She raided Tarawa in late September and Wake in October, then returned to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the Gilbert Islands operation. From 19 November to 24 November she made searches and flew sorties in the Marshalls, covering the landings in the Gilberts. Her aviators downed 29 enemy aircraft on November 23 and 24 November.


Russian Knights at Kubinka Air Base, Moscow, Russia

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

A lot of Su-27 of Russian Knights at Kubinka Air Base in Moscow, Russia.

The Russian Knights (Russian: Русские Витязи) are an aerobatic demonstration team of the Russian Air Force. Originally formed on April 5, 1991 at the Kubinka Air Base as a team of six Sukhoi Su-27s, the team was the first to perform outside the Soviet Union in September 1991 when they toured the United Kingdom. On December 12, 1995, disaster struck as three team members flew into a mountainside while practicing formation flying in adverse weather. Despite this unprecedented tragedy, the team bounced back and now performs with four Su-27P's and 2 Su-27UB's and in 2005, the Russian Knights acquired five Su-35 Super Flankers, but due to financial problems, these are not used in the displays.

The Kubinka air force base located 60 km west of Moscow is well known both in Russia and abroad. For years, it has been known as the Air Force installation used for demonstrating advanced combat aircraft to the national and foreign leaders. Kubinka AFB's personnel were first Soviet pilots to fly jet fighters in solo and group aerobatics: as early back as on 1 May 1946 Kubinka aces made their overflight of the Red Square as part of air parade formation. Nowadays, Kubinka AFB is known as the best aerobatics school where the world-renowned Russian Knights and Swifts aerobatics teams are stationed. Meanwhile, Kubinka is a major base of the Russian Air Force in the Moscow region, featuring a 65-year history.


Notre-Dame de Reims, France

July 15th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) is the cathedral of Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned. It replaces an older church, destroyed by a fire in 1211 and built itself on the site of the basilica, where Clovis was baptized by saint Remi, bishop of Reims, in AD 496. The cathedral was completed by the end of the 13th century, with the exception of the Western front. That portion was erected in the 14th century after 13th century designs—the nave having in the meantime been lengthened to afford room for the crowds that attended the coronations. The towers, 81 m tall (approx. 267 ft), were originally designed to rise 120 m (approx. 394 ft). The Southern tower holds two great bells; one of them, named “Charlotte” by the cardinal of Lorraine in 1570, weighs more than 10,000 kg (approx. 11 tons).


Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

July 13th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Sharm el-Sheikh, often known simply as "Sharm", is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in Janub Sina', Egypt, on the coastal strip between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai.

Sharm el-Sheikh is the administrative hub of Egypt's Southern Sinai province which includes the smaller coastal towns of Dahab and Nuweiba as well as the mountainous interior, Saint Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai. Sharm el-Sheikh is known as The City of Peace referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there. Sharm el-Sheikh is also known for its glamorous lifestyle, attracting millions of people each year.

Sharm el-Sheikh is on a promontory overlooking the Strait of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. Its strategic importance led to its transformation from a fishing village into a major port and naval base for the Egyptian Navy. It was captured by Israel during the Sinai conflict of 1956 and restored to Egypt in 1957. A United Nations peacekeeping force was subsequently stationed there until the 1967 Six-Day War when it was recaptured by Israel and officially renamed Mifratz Shlomo, Hebrew for "Gulf of Solomon"; but the name "Sharm el Sheikh" or "Sharm" stayed in general use. Sharm el-Sheikh remained under Israeli control until the Sinai peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1982.


Nice (city), France

June 30th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Nice or Nissa, Italian: Nizza is a city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast, between Marseille and Genoa, with 933,080 inhabitants in the metropolitan area at the 1999 census. The city is a major tourist centre and a leading resort on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur). It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice.

There were settlements in the Nice area approximately 2,000 years ago: the site of Terra Amata shows one of the earliest uses of fire and construction of houses.

Nice (Nicaea) was founded probably around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massilia (Marseille) and received the name of Νικαία ("Nikaia") in honor of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians (Nike being the Greek goddess of victory). It soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but as a city it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum, which continued to exist as a separate city till the time of the Lombard invasions, and has left its ruins at Cimiez, which is now a quarter of Nice.


Sabratha, Libya

June 30th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Sabratha, in the Zawia district in the northwestern corner of modern Libya, was the westernmost of the "three cities" of Tripolis. It lies on the Mediterranean coast about 65km (40 miles) west of Tripoli (ancient Oea). The extant archaeological site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

Sabratha's port was established, perhaps about 500 BC, as a Phoenician trading-post that served as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland. Sabratha became part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The Emperor Septimus Severus was born nearby in Leptis Magna, and Sabratha reached its monumental peak during the rule of the Severans. The city was badly damaged by earthquakes during the 4th century, particularly the quake of AD 365. It was rebuilt on a more modest scale by Byzantine governors. Within a hundred years of the Arab conquest of the maghreb, trade had shifted to other ports and Sabratha dwindled to a village.


King Herod’s Tomb, Herodium, Israel

June 23rd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

An Israeli archaeologist has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Hebrew University said late Monday, 07 May, 2007.

Hordes, also known as Herod I or Herod the Great, was a Roman client king of Judaea (ca. 74 BC – ca. 4 BC in Jerusalem). The details of his biography can best be gleaned from the works of the 1st century AD Jewish historian Josephus. Herod is well-known for his role in the events known as the Massacre of the Innocents, an account of which is given in Chapter 2 of the Gospel According to Matthew. Herod is particularly known for his dramatic expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem which is sometimes referred to as Herod's Temple.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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