La Charite-sur-Loire

9 02 2009

La Charite-sur-Loire

Originally uploaded by chrisinburgundy

Another place I did not know existed. It is a small town in Burgundy on an island in the river Loire, France, famous mainly for this priory founded in 1059 by the monks of Cluny (cluniac order). The priory has had an eventful life: sheltered Joan of Arc, witnessed the 100 years war, the War of Religions was partially burnt down by a fire and eventually became an unlikely fortress during World War II. What I’ve also learned reading this is that Burgundy was a land of hundreds of monasteries, divided between the Order of Cluny and the Cistercian order. Although their architecture was Romanesque (or Burgundian-Romanesque style to be more precise) they added elements that led to the later Gothic style. I have not found a decent video of La Charite-sur-Loire so I will include one of the nearby Vezeley.


Scruffy Postcards

1 02 2009

I was reading this article about the popularity of postcards of scruffy corners of Islington.

POSTCARDS usually aim to feature a location’s most picturesque sights but an Islington postcard featuring abandoned binbags and a shop called “Get Stuffed” is flying off the shelves.

I searched on Google for these two characters who apparently travel around Britain in a caravan and found their website that has samples of their now famous postcards.


How weird is this?

31 01 2009

This is the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas as found on Flickr, even the sky is fake (click on the image to see a bigger version)


The hotel’s website says:

No trip to Venice — or The Venetian — would be complete without a graceful and romantic glide down the Grand Canal in an authentic Venetian gondola. Float beneath bridges, beside cafes, under balconies and through the vibrant Venetian streetscape as your singing gondolier sweeps you down the Grand Canal for a ride like no other. A relaxing and romantic gondola ride reveals all the charm, excitement and passion that is Venice — and The Venetian.

Fascinating as it might be I still like holidays in real places with real skies and things that might even go wrong and where buildings look their age. I have not bought this fake perfection yet even in this age of plastic surgeries.
Here’s some pictures of the real thing in all its decaying glory.

Something I did not know

31 01 2009

Mount Everest (pictured) is, indisputably, the highest point of land above sea level (8,850 meters / 29,035 feet) which, according to traditional measurements, means that it is the tallest mountain in the world. Given certain definitions, however, this can be challenged.[75] One alternative method of measurement is the base-summit height. When this is applied, Mauna Kea (a dormant volcano in Hawaii) turns out to be much higher at 10,314 meters (33,480 feet). This takes into account Mauna Kea’s base on the ocean floor, some 6000 meters below sea level. Its height above sea level is only 4,208 meters (13,796 feet). If the base-summit height is measured from land only, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, meaning it does not belong to a mountain range or chain, measured from its base (at ground level) to the summit at 5,896 meters (19,344 feet). Another alternative method is to work out the furthest point of land as measured from the centre of the earth. Chimborazo, a volcano in Ecuador, takes this honor, because the Earth bulges at the equator.[76] This peak is 2,100 meters further away from the centre of the Earth than the top of Everest is.

This entry comes from a page on Wikipedia called “List of common misconceptions” which is a fascinating read.

The Panama Canal

30 01 2009

The Panama Canal is 48 miles long and over 27000 workers died when building it
In this video you can ship through the Canal in two minutes flat.

This place looks amazing

29 01 2009

I’ve found these pictures never heard or seen them before. So I searched the faithful Wikipedia that says this:

The monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Peneios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Metéora is home to six monasteries and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Metéora’s criteria[2] for the UNESCO World Heritage Site are I, II, IV, V and VII.[3]

monasteriesgreece And I add them to the very long list of places that I would not mind seeing. Now I’m going to bed because my PC is playing up tonight it is too slow and sticky and it’s getting on my nerves.

A Visit to Aachen

28 01 2009


Originally uploaded by Peter Gutierrez

It is one of those places that crop up a lot in schools history books and it’s right at the beginning of any encyclopedia, but I’ve never met anyone that actually went to visit it. Which is probably a shame part of the city  was heavily bombed during the Second World War but its cathedral which is German’s oldest was spared.   The  Palatine Chapel was built around the year 800 AD, heavily connected to Charlemagne of course. Most of the medieval city was destroyed in a fire in 1656 and the city started to decline but as this video shows there are still some interesting corners. And the church bells are nice.