Tuesday, 20 February 2018

VALENCIA, SPAIN

Valencia on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.5–1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined.

The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea. The city is ranked at Gamma+ in the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast).

Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, and called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language, religion and customs; they implemented improved irrigation systems and the cultivation of new crops as well, being capital of the Taifa of Valencia. In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon reconquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He also created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia.

In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812. It also served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.

Its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with approximately 169 ha (420 acres); this heritage of ancient monuments, views and cultural attractions makes Valencia one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas (when you can taste the traditional Spanish dish paella), which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016. In 2015, Joan Ribó, from Coalició Compromís, became mayor.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 19 February 2018

OBJETS TROUVÉS

objet trouvé | ˈtruːveɪ | noun (plural objets trouvés pronounced same) an object found by an artist and displayed with no, or minimal, alteration as a work of art.
ORIGIN French, literally ‘found object’.

On a walk a couple of days ago I took some photos of various objects discarded on the sidewalk, the street, on roadside verges. Here is a mosaic of some of them.

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #55 - IN THE DEAD OF WINTER

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

CORMORANT

The Australian pied cormorant, Phalacrocorax varius, also known as the pied cormorant, pied shag, or great pied cormorant, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia. In New Zealand it is usually known either as the pied shag or by its Māori name of Kāruhiruhi. Older sources may refer to it as the "yellow-faced cormorant".

In New Zealand its range on the east coast extends as far south as Christchurch, though this is a recent extension—older books report it no further south than Kaikoura. In Australia it is only moderately common in the eastern states, but abundant in the west.

Although typically found in marine habitat—sometimes solitary, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in vast flocks of hundreds or thousands—it is also attracted to inland waters, including lakes, deep and open swamps, and rivers. The pied cormorant appears to feed largely on benthic fish. It will dive both in shallow, still water and in rapidly moving currents. Typical dive times are around 40 seconds, with a recovery period of 10–15 seconds between dives.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Saturday Critters meme
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the I'd Rather Be Birdin' meme.




Friday, 16 February 2018

SUMMER AFTERNOON

A lazy Summer afternoon, walking leisurely in the shade of the trees, enjoying the warmth. The sky blue and clear reflected in the still pond waters. How fortunate to be able to enjoy such serenity!

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal meme
and also part of the Weekend Green meme


Thursday, 15 February 2018

MICHELIA

Michelia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae). The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical south and southeast Asia (Indomalaya), including southern China. The Magnoliaceae are an ancient family; fossil plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae back date back 95 million years.

A primitive aspect of the Magnolia family is that their large, cup-shaped flowers lack distinct petals or sepals. The large non-specialised flower parts, resembling petals, are called tepals. The leaves, flowers, and form of Michelia resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms of Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does. Several of the larger species are locally important sources of timber. Some species, including the Champak (Michelia champaca) and M. doltsopa are grown for their flowers, both on the tree and as cut flowers. Champak flowers are also used to produce an essential oil for perfume.

A few species have been introduced to gardens or as street trees outside of the Indomalaya region, including Michelia figo, M. doltsopa, and M. champaca. The genus is named after the Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli (1679–1737). The form shown here is Michelia x alba, a hybridised form not found in the wild and very popular as a garden ornamental. It is rather fashionable in Melbourne at the moment to plant these trees in one's garden!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

FLORENCE, ITALY

Florence (Italian: Firenze) is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.

Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy. The Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini.

The city attracts millions of tourists each year, and the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. The city is noted for its culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is a major national economic centre, as well as a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

CALAIS, FRANCE

Calais is a town and major ferry port in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's prefecture is its third-largest city of Arras. The population of the metropolitan area at the 2010 census was 126,395. Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km wide here, and is the closest French town to England. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais.

Calais is a major port for ferries between France and England, and since 1994, the Channel Tunnel has linked nearby Coquelles to Folkestone by rail. Due to its position, Calais since the Middle Ages has been a major port and a very important centre for transport and trading with England. It was annexed by Edward III of England in 1347 and grew into a thriving centre for wool production. The town came to be called the "brightest jewel in the English crown" owing to its great importance as the gateway for the tin, lead, lace and wool trades (or "staples"). Calais was a territorial possession of England until its capture by France in 1558.

The town was virtually razed to the ground during World War II, when in May 1940, it was a strategic bombing target of the invading German forces who took the town during the Siege of Calais. During World War II, the Germans built massive bunkers along the coast in preparation for launching missiles on England. The old part of the town, Calais proper (known as Calais-Nord), is situated on an artificial island surrounded by canals and harbours. The modern part of the town, St-Pierre, lies to the south and south-east. In the centre of the old town is the Place d'Armes, in which stands the Tour du Guet, or watch-tower, a structure built in the 13th century, which was used as a lighthouse until 1848 when a new lighthouse was built by the port.

South east of the Place is the church of Notre-Dame, built during the English occupancy of Calais. It is arguably the only church built in the English perpendicular style in all of France. In this church former French President Charles de Gaulle married his wife Yvonne Vendroux. South of the Place and opposite the Parc St Pierre is the Hôtel-de-ville (the town hall), and the belfry from the 16th and early 17th centuries. Today, Calais is visited by more than 10 million annually. Aside from being a key transport hub, Calais is also a notable fishing port and a centre for fish marketing, and some 3,000 people are still employed in the lace industry for which the town is also famed.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 12 February 2018

MELBOURNE AIR & WATER

The Yarra River or historically, the Yarra Yarra River, (Aboriginal: Birrarung, and Wongete) is a perennial river in east-central Victoria, Australia. The lower stretches of the river are where the city of Melbourne was established in 1835 and today Greater Melbourne dominates and influences the landscape of its lower reaches.

From its source in the Yarra Ranges, it flows 242 kilometres west through the Yarra Valley which opens out into plains as it winds its way through Greater Melbourne before emptying into Hobsons Bay in northernmost Port Phillip. The river was a major food source and meeting place for indigenous Australians from prehistoric times. Shortly after the arrival of European settlers land clearing forced the remaining Wurundjeri to neighbouring territories and away from the river.

Originally called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri, the current name was mistranslated from another Wurundjeri term in the Boonwurrung language; Yarro-yarro, meaning "ever-flowing".

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the  Seasons meme.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

MY SUNDAY BEST MEME #53 - COUNTRY ROAD

Welcome to the meme, "My Sunday Best", which is a photographic and creative meme that allows you to showcase your talents in imaging. Every Sunday, you can post here showing an image you have created using your camera, (and/or) image processing software, and/or painting and drawing in the conventional way and have scanned in.

The rules are simple:
1) Create your image and post it up on your blog;
2) Put the "My Sunday Best" logo image link somewhere on your post so people can click and come by here;
3) Leave a comment here once you have posted;
4) Visit other posters' blogs and be amazed with their creativity!

Please do not use this meme to advertise your goods or services. This is a creative meme and any inappropriate links or comments shall be removed immediately!
Warrandyte is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Manningham. At the 2011 Census, Warrandyte had a population of 5,520. Warrandyte is bounded in the west by the Mullum Mullum Creek and Target Road, in the north by the Yarra River, in the east by Jumping Creek and Anzac Road, and in the south by an irregular line from Reynolds Road, north of Donvale, Park Orchards and Warrandyte South.

Warrandyte was founded as a Victorian town, located in the once gold-rich rolling hills east of Melbourne, and is now on the north-eastern boundary of suburban Melbourne. Gold was first discovered in the town in 1851 and together, with towns like Bendigo and Ballarat, led the way in gold discoveries during the Victorian gold rush.

Today Warrandyte retains much of its past in its surviving buildings of the Colonial period and remains a twin community with North Warrandyte, which borders the Yarra River to its north. The Warrandyte Road Bridge over the Yarra River connects Warrandyte with North Warrandyte. The first bridge was built in 1861, but after its demise, the current bridge was built in 1952.
This post is part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.