Author: cellphoneexplorer

Reuben Fleet Science Center, San Diego

Reuben Fleet Science Center, San Diego

Reuben Fleet Science Center (San Diego, USA) — expositions, opening hours, address, phone numbers, official website.

The Reuben Fleet Science Center is located in Balboa Park and is the nation’s first science museum with a planetarium, interactive science exhibits, and an IMAX (OMNIMAX) auditorium. This museum is said to have set the standard in America by which all modern science museums are organized today. See acronymmonster for nickname of Indiana.

The museum takes its name from aviation pioneer Reuben Fleet, who founded the US Airmail Service. His San Diego-based company, Consolidated Aircraft, built several famous World War II aircraft, including the B-24 Liberator and the PBY Catalina. Fleet and his family made the first financial contribution to founding the science center.

The planetarium is a special pride of the scientific center. Several innovative features were implemented here at once. In particular, it was the first planetarium that simultaneously combined the functions of a large-format cinema and classical displays of the planets. The dome with a diameter of 23 m could open up to 25°.

The STS system can show the sky as it appears from any point within 100 astronomical units.

The planetarium is equipped with a system called the Space Transit Simulator, which makes it different from conventional planetariums, which are limited in showing the night sky by factors such as the time of year, specific dates and the points on Earth where these planetariums are located. The STS system can show the sky as it appears from any point within 100 astronomical units. The joystick even allows the system operator to make the planetarium “fly” in space by projecting an image “overboard”.

However, in practice, presentations in the planetarium are always programmed in advance.

The museum part of the science center was not the most original in introducing innovations (it was organized four years later than the Exploratorium in San Francisco, from which they took an example here). Nevertheless, the museum was among the first to implement the principle of interactive scientific exhibitions, which today has become the main trend of all truly advanced science museums in the world. In each exhibition, you can touch something and manipulate something.

The Science Museum’s permanent exhibitions include Cell Journey, Busters’ Block, Children’s City, Growing Up for All Ages, Roots of the Cosmos, Gallery of Illusions and Perceptions, San Diego Water from Source to faucet, as well as the Research Bar.

It was at the Reuben Fleet Science Center that the system was first created, which later became known as OMNIMAX. The administration wanted to adapt traditional IMAX to fit the widescreen format, but the current IMAX system was not designed to work with a hemispherical screen. The adapted system used cameras with fish-eye lenses, giving a view of almost 180°, but a highly distorted image that becomes normal when it is projected precisely onto a dome-shaped screen. This IMAX system was subsequently renamed the IMAX Dome.

Practical Information

Address: 1875 El Prado.

The museum is located on the corner of Park Boulevard and El Prado.

Opening hours: The permanent galleries are open 365 days a week, from 10:00 to 17:00 on Monday – Thursday and from 10:00 to 18:00 on Friday – Sunday.

Entrance: entrance ticket to exhibitions + viewing of one film in IMAX – 21.95 USD for adults (over 13 years old), 19.95 USD for pensioners (over 65 years old), 18.95 USD for children (3-12 years old).


The prices on the page are for June 2021.


Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower (USA) – description, history, location. Exact address, phone number, website. Reviews of tourists, photos and videos.

The height of this observation tower is 171 m, which makes it one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city – as well as the large observation ball at the top. The Reunion Tower is located in the downtown area of ​​the same name, and is part of the Hyatt Regency hotel complex. The thin tower looks even taller than it is, but it’s actually only the 15th tallest building in Dallas.

Reunion (or, as the locals call it, “The Ball”) was completed in 1978, at the same time as the hotel, as part of a city redevelopment project (this project also affected the historic Union Station in the same area). Immediately after the opening, a radio station was installed on the tower, but the Reunion Tower was not used for wide broadcasting.

In 2009, a restaurant was opened on the tower, which had previously been closed for restoration. And the observation deck was opened after restoration in 2013, just in time for the 35th anniversary of the tower itself.

Following a renovation in 2009, celebrity television chef Wolfgang Puck opened his Five Sixty gourmet restaurant on the top, revolving level of the tower.

The Reunion Tower can be seen in the film RoboCop (1987), although the film is set in Detroit.

The tall tower has only three floors, round in plan, which are supported by four concrete pillars. In the central, cylindrical, stairs and mechanical equipment are hidden, and in three rectangular ones – elevators. The outer side of each support is made of glass, so that those who ride in the elevator can begin to admire even before they get to the observation deck. True, there is not much time for this: the elevator reaches the observation deck in 68 seconds.

The upper three floors of the tower are placed in a sphere, which is illuminated at night by 259 diode elements, they are lit in different colors and at different times in accordance with a given program. In addition, the ball is used as a decoration for special events and holidays – for example, on St. Patrick, it lights up green.

Initially, the tower stood on its own, and only in 1998 a hotel building was added to it.

Following a renovation in 2009, celebrity television chef Wolfgang Puck opened his Five Sixty gourmet restaurant on the top, revolving level of the tower. The name “560” corresponds to the height of the tower in feet.

The observation deck below is called the GeO-Deck. Inside there are interactive displays with which you can get information about the sights of Dallas, the tower itself, the assassination of President Kennedy, a picture from the city’s HD cameras, etc. There are also telescopes with a panoramic view. From the site you can get to the Cloud 9 cafe, which also offers a panoramic view. The souvenir shop is located at the base of the tower.

Practical Information

Address: 300 Reunion Blvd.

Reuben Fleet Science Center, San Diego

Pacific Grove, California

Pacific Grove, California

Guide to Pacific Grove: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The best things to do in Pacific Grove: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, signature entertainment and shopping.

Pacific Grove is located in Monterey County, on the Central Coast of California. It lies directly to the west of the city of Monterey on the shores of the bay of the same name, sandwiched between its more eminent neighbors. Pacific Grove is less famous than Pebble Beach, and still touches with its charm of a quiet provincial town. In addition, it has earned the nickname “American Butterfly City” as thousands of migratory monarch butterflies arrive here in winter. For the peaceful beauty of these places and stunning views of the ocean, the city fell in love with artists and other bohemian personalities back in the 19th century. See citypopulationreview for state facts, symbols and history of Iowa.

The town is famous for its many Victorian houses: it is believed that there are more of them preserved here than anywhere else in the United States. Some of these old mansions have now been turned into small B’n’B hotels.

How to get to Pacific Grove

The easiest and most logical way to go here is from Monterey; for example, on the Monterey-Salinas transit bus. It takes 10 minutes by taxi from Monterey Airport to Pacific Grove.

A bit of history

The first Europeans arrived here in 1542, but the first settlement was not established until 1855, when the Point Pinos lighthouse began operating. Lighthouse Road, one of the city’s two main streets, was originally created to get to the lighthouse from Monterey. Numerous Chinese immigrants settled along the coast beginning in 1863, forming Pacific Grove’s Chinatown. Most of them worked as fishermen in Monterey Harbor. The Methodist community also played an important role in the development of the city: here the believers set up a summer tent camp, which then began to grow into more permanent buildings.

The Point Pinos lighthouse is still in operation and is considered the hallmark of the city. This is the oldest lighthouse on the west coast, whose work was not interrupted: the lighthouse on Alcatraz Island was ahead of Point Pinos by 8 months, but was moved in 1909 during the expansion of the prison.

Attractions and attractions in Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove is a small city, and you will be enough to explore it on your own two. The town is famous for its many Victorian houses: it is believed that there are more of them preserved here than anywhere else in the United States. Some of these old mansions have now been turned into small B’n’B hotels. In particular, this is the purpose of the beautiful Sevn-Gables mansion, built in 1886. The Gothic building of St. Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1887, is also beautiful and worth seeing. It was erected in the image and likeness of the cathedral in British Bath.

3 things to do in Pacific Grove:

  1. Ride your car or bike on 17 Mile Drive. It starts in the northern part of the city and winds along the coast, from where breathtaking views open up. Be sure to take pictures of the famous lone cypress. The section of road from Pebble Beach is tolled.
  2. Ride (or walk) along Ocean View and Sunset Boulevard. Just as good as 17 Mile Drive and completely free.
  3. Try to find the cottage in which Steinbeck lived for several years, although this is not easy: there is no sign on it.

Point Pinos Lighthouse between Lighthouse Avenue and Del Monte Boulevard is hard to miss. It was built in 1855, and even the lenses in the lantern are still used original, made in France in 1853. Today, the lighthouse is surrounded by golf courses, but is still actively used by the Coast Guard. It stands at an altitude of 27 m above sea level, and under suitable conditions, the signal is visible at a distance of up to 15 nautical miles. Point Pinos is open to the general public in the afternoon, usually from 13:00 to 16:00; visiting is paid.

Robert Louis Stevenson described the lighthouse in his book From Scotland to Silverado.

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is located on Forest Avenue, and here you can get acquainted with the nature of the Monterey Bay area. It was opened in 1883: it is one of the oldest natural science museums in the country. Many museum expositions are intended, in particular, for children. Admission is free, although donations are welcome.

In addition, the city has a small but interesting museum of classic motorcycles named after Jameson. Here you can see quite rare models: for example, a 1965 BMW R60 with a sidecar. The oldest motorcycle in the collection is a 1940 Indian. In total, the exposition presents about 35 bikes and scooters.

In Pacific Grove, you should definitely visit the Butterfly Sanctuary. It sits in an inconspicuous spot on Ridge Road between Lighthouse Avenue and Short Street and is also free to enter. From October to March, a huge number of butterflies make a stop in Pacific Grove halfway through their winter migration. With folded wings, butterflies resemble dry leaves, but this is only until they are disturbed. Binoculars are useful for viewing the reserve.

The inhabitants of the city feed the butterflies by planting many purple and yellow flowers. And one of the local laws implies a fine of 1000 USD for killing or harming a butterfly.

The city has several great natural places to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. In particular, there are as many as 28 parks here, from coastal to forest in Monterey Pines. There is even a specially designed tourist route through the parks, which involves a walk of about 17 km. Be sure to visit Perkins Coastal Park. There, for the monarchs, a plant with a rude name, edible carpobrotus, is planted and not in flower beds, but all over, like grass. Its flowers form a stunning crimson carpet.

The beaches at Pacific Grove are also worthwhile. There are even several of them in Lavers Point Park: small, sandy, equipped for various types of activities and water sports. Asilomar is a narrow strip of sand about 5 km long, the infrastructure of which is a little lame, which is redeemed by the aesthetic appeal.

Pacific Grove Events

The city hosts an annual butterfly parade when elementary school students dress up in colorful costumes and march through the city. And Lavers Point Park also hosts an annual Chinese-style Lantern Festival with a small theatrical performance from high school students and fireworks.

Pacific Grove, California

Mexico Travel Tips

Mexico Travel Tips

Tips are typically 10% of the billed price. It is customary to tip in a restaurant (up to 15%), a porter (in the amount of 1-2 US dollars), a driver and a guide for the tour.

The existing classification of hotels is somewhat different from the accepted European one – the number of “stars” does not always coincide with the quality of service.

According to Picktrue, the level of natural natural hazards is quite high in the country. In addition to the hot tropical sun, seismic activity and volcanism are quite high, and many active volcanoes are located quite close to large cities (Popocatepetl – 60 km from Mexico City). Around the volcanoes, 12-kilometer security zones have been created, access to which is closed. The colossal air pollution in Mexico City can also pose a real health hazard.

In Mexico, there is a high level of crime, in the first place – pickpocketing and robbery. It is recommended to travel by car, bus and train only during the day. Taxis are recommended only from official stations (“sitios”), otherwise the chance of becoming a victim of a robbery is quite high. It is recommended to order a taxi by phone, be sure to get the car number and taxi driver’s license number from the dispatcher.

At Mexico City Airport, only yellow airport taxis (with airport symbols on the door) should be hired, paying in advance at the appropriate “Transportacion Terrestre” kiosk in the airport lobby.

Try to drive on toll roads (“cuota”) – they are safer. It is also recommended to avoid solo trips in provincial areas, and often use hitchhiking. There are known cases of extortion of money by people in uniform.

Armed insurgent detachments operate in some areas of the country; if you need to travel to such areas, you should follow the recommendations of local authorities.

Mexico: Money and currency of Mexico

Mexico’s national currency is the new peso (MXP), equal to 100 centavos (cents). In 1993, the denomination of banknotes was carried out – 1000 “old” pesos correspond to 1 “new” pesos. In circulation there are banknotes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 pesos and coins of 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos. The new money differs from the old ones in size and appearance. Prices in new pesos are marked with NP$. The “$” sign is used for both the peso and the US dollar (US$ or USD only). Banks are open from 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays (some bank branches are open even until 24:00 or 01:00), and from 09:00 to 14:00 on Saturday. Sunday is a day off. Some bank branches in resort areas are also open from 16:00 to 18:00, on Saturday – from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 18:00,

Currency exchange can be done at banks, large hotels, airports (usually the best rate) or specialized exchange offices “casas de cambio”. Often there are difficulties with the exchange of shabby banknotes or banknotes of the old series. Most hotels, restaurants, shops and travel agencies accept world leading credit cards and travelers checks (preferably in US dollars). The resort areas have a well-developed network of ATMs. US dollars are also accepted almost everywhere (the exchange rate is not the most profitable).

Mexico: Cuisine of Mexico

A distinctive feature of Mexican cuisine is the seductive aromas of spices added to food, which speaks of the richness of taste. Mexico is lucky to have both an abundance of first-class food for cooking and people who know how to find real pleasure in food. Mexicans, using food in every possible way, have created a fascinating encyclopedia of dishes in a wide variety of flavors. However, it would be a mistake to think that all Mexican dishes are spicy and heavily spiced. Some, such as vegetable soup, have a subtle, moderate flavor that does not interfere with the natural flavors of high-quality ingredients. If spices are added, then with a sense of proportion, so that the taste is soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili (hot peppers), and even those where it is,

The culinary style that today is called Mexican has evolved over many centuries. It is a kind of fusion of various culinary traditions. This style has its roots in the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations. It is based on a rich selection of products available to these peoples: corn (maize), avocados, fresh and dried beans, sweet and regular potatoes, tomatoes, chilli peppers, pumpkin, duck and turkey meat, chocolate, as well as many types of fish that live in coastal waters of Mexico.

In the middle of the last century, the influence of French cuisine was added, as evidenced by a large selection of various, very tasty buns, muffins and puddings, which are still a success.

Since Mexico shares a border with the United States, it is not surprising that there is now a tangible influence of American cuisine. At the same time, the United States also contributed to the spread of Mexican cuisine around the world, although, it should be noted that “TechMech” (Tex-Mex restaurants) in Mexico itself is more difficult to find than outside it.

The most popular dish of Mexican national cuisine is tacos – corn tortilla stuffed, fried on coals. The filling depends on the taste and imagination of the cook – meat, vegetables, fruits – and is placed on top. Establishments that eat “tacos” are called taquerias in Mexico City. Taquerias flooded all of Mexico City, successfully competing with McDonald’s, pizzerias and Chinese restaurants.

Among the many taquerias in Mexico City, there is one that is especially revered by the public – its visitors, in addition to ordinary food, also receive spiritual food. It is located on Chola Street, a stone’s throw from the representative office of Aeroflot. This is a real museum. In the cafe, modestly referred to by the people as the Museum of Tacos, along with products of gastronomic art (tacos), the visitor will be able to enjoy other masterpieces – from the field of painting, sculpture, music, photography. In the hall decorated in this way, pyramids of fiery corn cakes seasoned with red and green sauce on the tables are in perfect harmony with the paintings and prints on the walls.

Mexican cuisine ranges from easy-to-make tacos and tostados for a quick snack, to festive dishes like mole poblanos or mouth-watering beans and other vegetable dishes that make you realize that vegetarian food can also bring joy.

The most popular cheese in Mexico is the easy-to-crumble, salty-tasting queso fresco. Another common type of cheese is Queso de Chihuahua. Chili peppers are the hallmark of Mexican cuisine, they are used both raw and processed to give the dish a specific flavor and spiciness. Another “calling card” is chayote. Chayote is a fruit weighing from 180 to 360 g, outwardly similar to a ribbed pear, with a light green rather thick skin and crisp white flesh with a delicate taste. Chayote is eaten baked, stewed, boiled in casseroles, and sometimes raw in salads. You can peel them both before and after cooking. The seeds of the young chayote are also edible.

Mexico: Culture of Mexico

The dominant religion is Christianity (97% of the population consider themselves Catholics).
During the winter months, a two-week Jazz Festival is held throughout the country. The traditional Carnival takes place at the end of February or at the beginning of March in the week before the Day of Repentance. The traditional spring festival, accompanied by costumed processions and climbing the pyramids, takes place in Teotihuacan on the day of the spring equinox. On the same days (and also on September 21) in Chichen Itza, the festival of Quetzalcoatl (Quetzalcoatl or the Feathered Serpent) takes place.

On Independence Day, colorful folk festivals are held in the central squares of all settlements. Immediately after All Saints’ Day (November 2), the eerie “Dia de los Muertos” takes place – a holiday to honor the dead. On the day of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe (December 12), the colorful Señora de Guadalupe Festival and a pilgrimage to the capital of the country, to the Basilica of the Virgin Mary (one of the centers of Catholicism in America) take place.


  • January 1 – New Year
  • February 5 – Constitution Day
  • February 24 – Flag Day
  • March 21 – Birthday of the national hero of the country Benito Juarez
  • April 21 – Good Friday
  • March-April – Easter
  • April 30 – Children’s Day
  • May 1 – Labor Day
  • May 5 – Anniversary of the Battle of Pueblo in 1862 (Indian holiday)
  • September 16 – Independence Day
  • October 12 – Discovery of America Day, “Dia de la Rasa”
  • November 20 – Revolution Day
  • December 8 – Immaculate Conception Day
  • December 12 – Day of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe
  • December 25 – Christmas

On national holidays, all government offices and banks are closed.

Mexico Travel Tips

Democratic Republic of the Congo Population, Society and Rights

Democratic Republic of the Congo Population, Society and Rights

With an estimated population of approximately 67 million residents, the Congo has more than 250 ethnic groups. According to Nexticle, the most important groups (Luba, Kongo, Mongo, Azande and Lunda) do not exceed three million people each, thus not having a majority at the national level, even if each represents the predominant group in a region. In addition to French, Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili are officially recognized languages, the most widespread among the more than 700 languages ​​present in the country. French remained the language used by institutions and in higher education. One third of the population is illiterate, while only one sixth has received secondary education and less than 1% has a degree. 70% of the Congolese profess themselves at least nominally Christian, of which 50% Catholic and the remaining 20% ​​Protestant.

Human, civil and political rights are seriously disregarded and the cyclical violence to which the country is subject exposes citizens to the risk of arbitrary arrest, abuse, exploitation and slavery, rape, exactions, forced labor. The number of children and young soldiers is also high. Impunity for crimes is widespread and, in the case of sexual violence, generates a dramatic mechanism of decriminalization of this criminal behavior, which the government tries very hard to remedy. Extreme poverty gives rise to situations of strong social hardship which translate, especially in the urban area, into extremely serious phenomena such as accusations of witchcraft and child neglect. Despite investments, international aid and the presence on the territory of a large number of humanitarian organizations, Congo is the penultimate country in terms of human development index.

Since 2012, UNHCR has estimated a number of internal refugees equal to 2.2 million people, and 400,000 Congolese reside in other states. Resettlement of displaced persons constitutes one of the greatest challenges for the stability of the country. Given the regional instability, Congo is also a land of asylum: there are at least 153,000 refugees. In the east, the majority are Ugandan and Rwandan citizens, while in the west it is mainly Angolans who cross the border in search of employment. The crisis in the Central African Republic has also caused an influx of refugees to the Equator region. Refugees are often subject to political tensions, when not used as a real pressure tool for international relations: Congo and Angola cyclically provide for expulsions and repatriations. One of the major disputes with Rwanda is related to the presence of Hutu Interahamwe.

History. – Since independence (1960), Democratic Republic of the Congo was ruled with authoritarian methods and with a pro-Western orientation by President F. Youlou, who however, with the intent of national reconciliation, appointed J. Opangault as minister and then vice-president (January 1961), member of the opposition. On March 2, 1961, the first constitution entered into force. In August 1963 the opposition of the trade unions and the army forced President Youlou to retire and brought Minister A. Massemba-Débat to power: even in Democratic Republic of the Congo there was a move towards the affirmation of a single party (National Revolutionary Movement, congress of 1964 and “Charter” of 1966), supported by a popular militia, while tribal and social tensions persisted between the tribes of the north (Kouyou and Mbochi).

The tension between the army and the government, which began in 1966, is at the origin of the serious crisis opened in 1968: Massemba-Débat in the attempt of a moderate restoration, took the place of the prime minister and dissolved the Assembly and the executive board of the party; the armed forces took power, exercised through a Revolutionary National Council, in which the commander Marien Ngouabi (head of state from 31 December 1968) emerged. The new leader established a regime of declared Marxist inspiration: in December 1969 the Parti congolais du Travail (PCT) replaced the MNR, a constitution came into force on January 3, 1970, which made Democratic Republic of the Congo a people’s republic. Subversive attempts were soon denounced and oppositions emerged from elements and circles of more authentic Marxist profession: Ngouabi reacted by reconstituting in March 1970 a popular militia in defense of the party, reshaping the government and the governing bodies of the party itself, creating in 1973 a Revolutionary court that severely condemned alleged conspirators.

In 1973 a new constitution came into force (31 August) and elections were held for the National People’s Assembly and local administrations; a Supreme Defense and Security Council has existed since 1974. Indeed, strong internal tensions remain, with even tribal connections. Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the most clearly pro-communist African states (intense relations with the USSR, China and Eastern Europe); in 1973 Ngouabi visited numerous socialist countries. Moreover, close technical-economic cooperation with France remains (agreements renewed in 1974) and relations with other African countries have recently been extended, including those of a different political orientation.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Society

Lebanese Republic 1944

Lebanese Republic 1944

Lebanese Republic covers an area of ​​10,170 sq. Km. In 1944 it counted 1,146,800 residents (114.6 per sq. Km.) And its capital is Beirut (234,000 residents). The main regions are northern Lebanon (241,000 residents), Southern Lebanon (198,000), Upper Lebanon (278,000), al-Biqā ‛(167,000). It is estimated that 260,000 Lebanese live abroad. 10,000 Armenians left Lebanon in 1947 for Soviet Armenia.

From the point of view of communications, Lebanon took advantage of the inauguration of the new port of Beirut (13 June 1938) and of the new railway section between Beirut and Haifā (237 km.), Opened to traffic in August 1942 (but out of operation today). In February 1941, a large oil refinery was inaugurated in Tripoli.

According to Just in Shoes, Lebanon has a predominantly agricultural economy. In addition to cereals (on average 350,000 q. Of wheat and 130,000 q. Of barley), tobacco (4300 ha.), Agiumi (6500 ha.), Vineyards (20,000 ha.), Olive trees (average production 50,000 ha.) Are grown.. of oil). Irrigation is in progress; through the adduction of the Nahr el-Giauz water was supplied to the plain of Batrūn (300 ha.). An attempt was also made to use the waters of Lake Yamūne. The breeding of goats (almost half a million) and sericulture (600,000 kg. Of cocoons, processed in the Lebanese spinning mills) are important. The cotton is spun in ‛Arīda near Tripoli; a shirt factory has been in operation for some time in Beirut.

Unlike Syria, Lebanon did not leave the French franc area and, following the latter’s second devaluation, the Lebanese pound exchange rate was set at 97.83 frs. for 1 ??? S-116 ??? Lebanon In the country only tickets with the “Lebanon” print are legal tender and as of August 15, 1948 the circulation amounted to 185 million.

History. – The treaty of 1936, by which France declared the mandate on Lebanon lapsed, had not been ratified by the French parliament, and the war thus caught the country in an ambiguous situation. Occupied by the Anglo-Degaullist forces in the spring-summer 1941 campaign, he was proclaimed independent of General Catroux on 8 June and then again on 26 November of that year; with the declaration, however, that the Allies assumed the defense of the country for the duration of the war. After the elections of September 1943, the new Lebanese Chamber passed an amendment to the constitution, which sanctioned complete independence, without a prior agreement with the degaullist Commissioner, Helleu. The violent reaction of this, with the dissolution of the Chamber and the arrest of the President of the Republic and some ministers, provoked the Anglo-American diplomatic intervention; Helleu was resigned, President Bishāra el-Kh? ūrī reinstated, parliament was reconvened, and a new ministry, chaired by Riyāḍ eṣ-Ṣulḥ, began its activity for the liquidation, on bilateral agreements, of the French occupation. In May 1945, a further crisis, due to the landing of new French contingents and the serious disturbances that subsequently broke out throughout Syria and Lebanon, led to a definitive agreement on military evacuation: this was accomplished for Lebanon (which had already entered in the meantime, as sovereign state, to become part of the Arab League) by the summer of 1946. Jealous of the independence finally achieved, Lebanon was tenaciously opposed (like Syria) to the project of a “Great Syria”, including Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Transjordan.

Archaeology. – The complexity of the urban situation in the Lebanon prevents an organic development of archaeological activities, hindered by the intense and disordered concentration of settlements along the entire coast. Consequently, systematic archaeological explorations can be planned above all in the internal region, such as Kamid el-Loz, or on the coast based on large expropriation programs, such as in Tire and Byblos, where modern settlements have been moved; important excavations for the knowledge of the Phoenician civilization on more limited areas have been carried out at Khalde, the airport area of ​​Beirut, and at the sanctuary of Eshmun in Sidon. Particularly noteworthy for the Late Bronze Age culture (about 1580-1200 BC) of the Syrian area is Kamid el-Loz, who must identify with the ancient Kumidi, seat of the Egyptian governor during the New Kingdom, where excavations revealed a still limited sector of a building, characterized by a long room with buttresses and smaller lateral rooms, and an important temple with an irregular central plan; to Kamid el-Loz, as well as a few ostraca in early Canaanite writing, some cuneiform tablets were found in the palace, of which at least two come from Tell Amarna and are letters sent by a pharaoh, perhaps Amenophis III, to some Syrian princes, including the king of Damascus. Of particular importance for the chronology of the Iron II and III phases (about 1000-530 BC) is the exploration of the burial necropolis of Khalde, which provided abundant ceramic material especially from the 9th-7th centuries BC. Christ. The enlargement of the excavation of the sacred area surrounding the great structures of the Eshmun temple in Sidon has made it possible to attribute the construction of the great monumental podium to the kings Eshmunazar II and Bodashtart of the end of the 6th century BC. C., while the remains of possible earlier foundations have been identified.

Lebanese Republic 1944

Greece Attractions

Greece Attractions


Off the Turkish coast lies the largest island in the Dodecanese – Rhodes – which is popular with wine lovers and sports enthusiasts alike. The administrative center is Rhodes Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its inhabited old town, the Grand Master’s Palace and the old town walls. In the west of the island, which is much visited by tourists, you can visit numerous sights and destinations. The sailing and surfing schools up to the southern tip are popular, as well as the Valley of the Butterflies to the northwest and Mount Filerimos with an acropolis and the ruins of ancient Ialysos, from which you have a beautiful view of the northern tip.

Ravines and caves

Greece is home to countless canyons and caves to explore. Most are in Crete such as the Samaria Gorge – the largest gorge in Europe. 20 show caves alone are open to guided tours, the largest of which is Perama in the northwest of the country. The guided hiking trail through the stalactite cave is 1100m long. Another well-known cave, Theopetra Cave, is located in the Meteora rocks. It is home to the oldest man-made structure in the world, a stone wall that was built 23,000 years ago and partially closes the entrance.

  • Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Greece, including compulsory schooling and higher education.

Meteora monasteries

In the Thessaly plain, on the edge of the Pindus mountain range, rise 24 monastic rocks. Byzantine monks built this second most important group of monasteries after Athos 600 years ago on the Meteora rocks, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Six monasteries, most of which can only be reached on foot, are open to the public. Here wall paintings and Byzantine frescoes can be admired. You can also get an insight into the monastery life of the past.


At an altitude of 2033 m, the “holy mountain” Athos is located on the eastern finger of the Halkidiki peninsula and is home to 2262 monks. The orthodox monastic republic governs largely autonomously. There is a boat connection from Ouranopolis to the approximately 20 monasteries that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and are famous for their icon painting. Only male pilgrims are allowed to enter the peninsula.

Festivals and events

Despite austerity measures, the long tradition of the festivities in Greece was able to assert itself. In addition to numerous local folk festivals that have cultural or religious origins, there are also many festivals that take place over longer periods of time. The Athens & Epidaurus Festival takes place between June and September at various locations and features art, theater and music. More information is available at Other well-known events are the German-Greek reading festival on Crete or the music festival in Kallithea with electronic-alternative music.

Greece with children

The Greeks are very child-friendly people. Children are always and everywhere welcome and take part in all activities until late in the evening. In any case, your luggage should include bathing shoes, good sunscreen and mosquito repellent for the evening hours. Child discounts are generally granted up to the age of 12. One of the largest water parks can be found near Thessaloniki in Halkidiki. The tourist centers offer many attractions. In every larger town there is a Luna Park with play facilities for children. Beaches, especially in smaller bays, are particularly suitable for children because the water is mostly flat.

Greek islands

The island of love, Kithira, lies 14 nautical miles off the southern tip of the Peloponnese and offers holidaymakers wide beaches, Byzantine churches, stalactite caves and small lakes. One of the easternmost islands is Thássos, known for its fishing and historical sites. Here, too, there are numerous beautiful beaches such as Makriamos, Chrissi Amoudiá and Pefkári. On Skiathos, the visitor is rewarded with an indescribable view after a beautiful hike from the port, via the monastery Evangelistra to the Kastro. In addition, Skiathos offers a choice of almost 60 beaches.


The best known of the numerous city fortresses of ancient Greece is the Acropolis in Athens. Consisting of three temples in total, the most famous is the Parthenon Temple, which towers high above Athens and offers a beautiful view of the city. The current excavations have been impressively integrated into the architecture of the new museum. You should allow enough time for your visit, as it closes in the afternoon on weekends. Tickets are currently also valid for other sights around the Acropolis.

Corinth Canal

Near the city of Corinth, the Corinth Canal was dug by human hands 75 meters deep into the stone rock. As a 26 meter wide waterway, it connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and is the most expensive canal in the world. As a tourist attraction, the view from the canal bridge is as impressive as looking up the cliffs when navigating the passage by boat.

Corinth Canal

Howland Island Geography and Climate

Howland Island Geography and Climate

Howland Island has belonged to the United States since February 5, 1857 and is considered an area within the remote islands of the United States. This island has never become an incorporated part of the United States and it is perhaps not so strange because there is no population here and those who move on the island are mainly scientists who come here to study the environment and nature. People usually talk about Howland Island and Baker Island together as Baker-Howland for Baker Island is only about 100 km away from Howland. Together, the two islands are called the Phoenix Islands in English.

Howland Island was discovered in 1822 by the American captain George B. Worth, but perhaps better known is that the island was never reached by Amelia Earhart when she failed to fly around the world. Howland Island is located in Micronesia, part of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

More about Howland Island

This island was thus discovered in the early 19th century by the United States, but it would not be until 1857 before the United States officially claimed it. Both American and British companies mined guano on the island until 1890 and in 1935 they tried to colonize the island but this did not succeed. To get to Howland Island, you must have a special permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is mostly researchers and educators who come here, and there is an airfield that was built in 1937 in preparation for Amelia Earhart who was expected to land to refuel, but that did not happen and today you can not use the airfield as it is not serviced. You can instead get to the island by boat. In the middle of the island’s west coast there is a place where boats can dock.

Geography and climate

Howland Island is a coral island with a maximum height of 6 meters. A large part of the island consists of sand and low vegetation. There are no sources of fresh water and today the island is considered a nature reserve. The island is surrounded by a narrow reef and here there are plenty of seabirds. The island has a rich marine life that is of great interest to the researchers who come here to study unique species up close. The climate is equatorial and this means that you do not get much rain and that the sun shines in a very intense way. The temperatures are regulated a bit by the fact that it is constantly blowing from the east.

Howland Island Geography

Geography of Romania

Geography of Romania

General information about Romania

The official name is Romania. Located in southeastern Europe. The area is 238.4 thousand km2, the population is 22.4 million people. (2002). The official language is Romanian. The capital is Bucharest (2.1 million people). Public holiday – National Day of Romania on December 1. The monetary unit is the leu.

Member of the UN (since 1955), IAEA (since 1957), FAO (since 1961), IMF (since 1972), WTO (since 1995), associate member of the EU (since 1995), member of CESST (since 1997).

Geography of Romania

According to ALLCITYCODES, Romania is located between 20°15′ and 29°41′ East longitude and 43°37′ and 48°15′ North latitude. In the southeast it is washed by the Black Sea; in the north and east it borders with Ukraine (169 km), Moldova (450 km), in the northwest with Hungary (433 km), in the southwest with Serbia (476 km), in the south with Bulgaria (608 km).

Approximately 1/3 of the territory is occupied by the Carpathian Mountains, which are divided into Eastern, Southern Carpathians and Western Romanian Mountains. The most elevated part of the Carpathian arc, running from the north to the center to the west of the country, is the Southern Carpathians, where the peaks of Moldovyanu (2544 m), Negoyu (2535 m), Paryngu Mare (2519 m) are located. From the inner and outer sides of the Carpathians stretches a chain of subcarpathian hills and plateaus (average height 400-700 m). In the west of the country there is the Middle Danube Plain, in the south – the Lower Danube Plain, 600 km long from the city of Kalafat to the city of Galati. The country’s rivers belong to the Danube basin, which flows from west to east along the border with Bulgaria for a distance of 1075 km. The main tributaries are the Prut (716 km), Siret (598 km), Argesh (344 km), Olt (736 km), Timish (383 km), Muresh (760 km), and others. There are more than 2 thousand lakes; the largest are the estuaries of the Black Sea (Razelm 415 km2, Sinoe 171 km2). All types of zonal soils are represented: in the lowlands steppe, forest-steppe, in hilly areas – brown forest; starting from a height of 1400 m – mountain forest. Almost 2/3 of the lands used in agriculture have fertile soils (chernozems, chernozems, brown forests). Forests occupy 27% of the country’s territory. Romania is rich in minerals, including oil (industrial reserves of 200-300 million tons), natural gas (500-600 billion m3), coal, slates (4.5-5 billion tons of balance reserves), ores of non-ferrous, rare and precious metals. The climate is transitional from temperate oceanic, Western Europe, to continental, Eastern Europe. Average annual temperatures range from +8°С in the north to +11°С in the south of the country. Average annual precipitation is 637 mm (in the northwest – 800-1000 mm,

The flora and fauna of Romania is diverse. Forest areas are concentrated mainly in areas above 200 m above sea level. The coniferous forests of the Carpathian Mountains (1800-1900 m above sea level) are of the greatest economic value. Hardwoods (beech, hornbeam, oak) are also used in the woodworking industry. In terms of stocks and timber harvesting, Romania occupies a prominent place in Europe. The fauna of the country is peculiar. Bears, wolves, roe deer are found in mountainous regions; the fauna of the Danube Delta is unique (marsh and waterfowl, fish of valuable commercial species).

Population of Romania

Since 1989, the population has decreased by 750 thousand people, or 4%. The proportion of women is 51.1%, men – 48.9%. The urban population is 54%, rural – 46%. The official language is Romanian. The birth rate of the population has fallen from 16‰ in the early 1990s. to 9.8‰ in 2001, mortality increased from 10.7‰ to 11.6‰, infant mortality was 20.2 pers. per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy – 69.7 years, incl. women – 73.7 years, men – 66 years. The population is aging; the proportion of ages 60 and over rose from 15.5% in 1990 to 17.3% in 2001.

The retirement age for women is 57, for men it is 62; The 2002 law provides for a gradual increase in the age to 60 and 65, respectively. Ethnically, Romanians predominate (89%), Hungarians (7%), Gypsies, Ukrainians, Turks, Greeks, Russians, and Armenians are also represented. From con. 1980s there was an intensive outflow mainly of Hungarians and Germans. Several million Romanians live outside the country’s borders.

The leading confessions are Orthodoxy (83% of the population), Catholicism (7%), incl. Greek Catholic, the so-called. Uniate, Church (Romanians of Transylvania), Roman Catholic (Hungarians, Germans in Transylvania and Banat). Protestants, Lutherans, Calvinists (6%). Muslims, Jews, Old Believers (the Russian population in the Danube Delta) are represented.

Geography of Romania

Geography of Zimbabwe

Geography of Zimbabwe

General information about Zimbabwe

The official name is The Republic of Zimbabwe.

Located in southern Africa. The area is 390.6 thousand km2, the population is 11.4 million people. (2002, estimate). The official languages ​​are English, Shona and Ndebele. The capital is the city of Harare (approx. 2 million people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day April 18 (since 1980). The monetary unit is the Zimbabwean dollar.

Member ok. 40 international organizations, incl. UN (since 1966), AU (since 2000), SADC (since 1992).

Geography of Zimbabwe

Located between 25°18 and 33°30 east longitude and 15°18 and 22°12 south latitude; It borders South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the north, and Mozambique to the east.

The relief of the country is a plateau 800-1500 m high, descending to the north and south; in the east, it is bordered by the Unyanga Range, where the highest point is located – Mount Inyangani (2592 m). Two abounding rivers – Zambezi and Limpopo are border. Their numerous tributaries are shallow and dry up in summer. Rivers in the southeast belong to the Sabie River Basin. A dam on the Zambezi River created the vast Caribbean Reservoir. The Zambezi is home to the famous Victoria Falls.

The soils are varied, but fertile reddish-brown savannas predominate. Only in the southwest are poor sandy soils.

The vegetation is mainly savannah (steppe, shrubby), tropical forests have been preserved in the foothills of the Inyanga, and alpine meadows above. Typically African wildlife is preserved in sparsely populated areas and national parks (10% of the territory): lions, antelopes, crocodiles, etc.

The bowels contain approx. 70 minerals. The reserves of metal ores only in the deposits where they are determined are (in terms of metal content): copper – 290 thousand tons, nickel – 550 thousand tons, platinum – 3100 tons. Chromite reserves – 1 billion tons, gold – 630 tons, iron ore – 440 million tons, coal – 28 billion tons, asbestos – 11 million tons, corundum – 52 million tons.

According to allcitycodes, the climate is subequatorial in the north and tropical in the south. On the plateau, the average temperature in October is +22°С, and in July +13°С, and in the Zambezi valley, respectively, +30°С and +20°С. The smallest amount of precipitation falls in the southwest (300-700 mm), and the largest – on the slopes of Inyanga (2000 mm). Rain falls mainly in November-March.

The population of Zimbabwe

Since the 1980s the population increased by 50%, the white population decreased. The population growth rate has dropped sharply due to the AIDS pandemic (0.05% in 2002, est.). The birth rate was 24.59%, mortality 24.06%, infant mortality 62.97 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Average life expectancy is 36.5 years (35.1 for women, 37.8 for men) (2002).

Sex and age structure (2002): 0-14 years – 37.9% (2,178,073 men and 2,128,287 women), 15-64 years – 58.4% (respectively 3,376,850 and 3,268,315), 65 years and older – 3.7% (213,286 and 211,865). Urban population 35%. Competently 85% of the adult population.

98% of the population are Africans (82% Shona, 14% Nde Bele, 2% others), whites less than 1%. Languages: English, Shona, Ndebele. 55% of the population are Christians (more than 1 million are Catholics), the rest adhere to traditional beliefs.

Geography of Zimbabwe

Kibale Equatorial Rainforest, Uganda

Kibale Equatorial Rainforest, Uganda

The Kibale Equatorial Rainforest has the largest concentration of primates in the world, including about 500 chimpanzees. It is one of the best parks to watch them. 766 sq. km of the national park have some of the most beautiful patches of rainforest in all of Uganda.

This enchanting park is full of lakes, swamps and meadows, and its slopes are covered with various types of forest (low-lying rainforest, deciduous forest and mountain forest), which is ideal for its arboreal inhabitants.

Forest cover dominates the central and northern parts of the park on the elevated plateau of Fort Portal. The northern tip of the Kibale Park is the highest with an altitude of 1590 m above sea level. The wettest area is northern Kibale, which receives an average of about 1700 m of precipitation per year, mainly from March to May and from September to November. The climate is usually very comfortable and pleasant, with average annual temperatures ranging from 14°C to 27°C. Maximum temperatures (and therefore minimum rainfall) occur in the south, where the terrain drops to the scorching bottom of the rift valley.

In the south, Kibale borders the Queen Elizabeth National Park, and together these national parks create a 180-kilometer wildlife migration corridor that extends from the remote southern sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park (at Ishash) to the northern Kibale (at Sebitoli). The Fort Portal region is one of the most pleasant places to visit in Uganda. In addition, Kibale is close to the tranquil Ndali Kasenda crater, the Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains National Parks, and the Toro Semliki Nature Reserve.


About 70 species of mammals live in the park, the most famous of them are 13 species of primates, including chimpanzees.

Many chimpanzees in Kibala are accustomed to the presence of humans, and since 1992 ecotourism has been practiced there, allowing people to visit these amazing animals. You can be sure to find chimpanzees when the sticky fruits of the huge fig trees ripen. At other times, your guide will know where to look for them. However, once they decide to move along the branches at high speed, keeping up with them can be quite a task.

As you walk through the ancient virgin forests, their extraordinary diversity and abundance of life is revealed before you. The trees reach up to a height of 52 m, supported by broad roots, and the undergrowth is very dense in places.

The park is also rich in birds, with at least 325 species, including colorful turacs and noisy hornbills that emit loud, shrill calls as they fly. Standing in the midst of clouds of fluttering butterflies is sure to take your breath away as the park boasts 144 different species!

Marshy glades and grasslands are home to buffalo and antelope, while shady wooded slopes hide the elusive forest elephant – smaller and hairier than its savanna counterpart.


Dry season: The period from June to September is the driest time when most animals stay near the water, but be prepared for afternoon showers at any moment. The hot dry season is from January to February and is a good time to visit. Average dry season temperatures are 25°C.

Rainy Season: From October to December and from March to May it can rain at any time, many roads become impassable during these periods.


  • 12 different primates
  • Chimpanzees accustomed to the presence of humans
  • ancient forests
  • Butterfly clouds
  • tropical birds


Kibale Park is located in western Uganda and covers an area of ​​766 sq. km.

The park is located in a malaria zone.

Kibale Equatorial Rainforest

What to See in Botswana

What to See in Botswana

The Nata Bird Sanctuary (NATA), located 17 km south of the village of Nata, was established in the early 1990s on the northeastern edge of the Sowa Valley. Community project with an area of ​​230 sq. km was aimed at preserving wildlife around the Shua depression. The main attractions of the reserve are various varieties of antelopes, more than 165 species of birds, which include kingfishers, ostriches, eagles and bustards.

How to get there. Two hours by ground transfer from Frankistown.

Maun is the safari capital of Botswana, a bustling tourist town with the second largest airport in the country, where tourists fly in from Gabarone, Kasane, Cape Town and Johannesburg before starting a trip to the Delta or Kalahari to fly further on small planes to their camps and lodges. Maun has restaurants, pubs and fast food outlets, several local craft shops, as well as the curious Nhabe Museum in an old colonial house with a good ethnographic exposition.

How to get there. Flight from Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kasane, Gabarone.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve – the second largest in the world (52,800 sq. km). This is a zone of vast open plains, salt lakes and ancient riverbeds – a haven for large herds of springbok, oryx, blue wildebeest, cow antelope (bubola) and the largest antelope – eland. Over 40 species of birds live here. In the southern part of the reserve, in the petrified bed of an ancient river, there is a huge beautiful valley. The winds blowing across the Kalahari have shaped the high and wide dunes that dominate the landscape in the northern part of the reserve. There are three entrances to the Central Kalahari: through Xade and Matswere in the northeast and through Khutse in the south. The Heid entrance is located 36 km south of Gantsi on the Kalahari Highway. The reserve has two non-equipped campsites near the Haid Wildlife Camp. Visitors should stock up on fuel at Gantsi and make sure they have enough food. Visitors are required to register at the Wildlife Camp upon arrival at Heide. To the north of the central Kalahari Game Reserve, in the bed of an ancient river, lies the Deception valley. The fresh grass that has soaked up the summer rains attracts large herds of antelope, as well as ostriches, giraffes and all major predators.

How to get there. By air charter from Maun or Gaborone.

The reserve Khutse (Khutse) covers an area of ​​2500 square meters. km, covered with rolling plains and dry savannah bushes in the south of the Central Kalahari. The extensive system of mineral water depressions attracts antelopes and other herbivores who drink the water during the rainy season and lick the salt during the dry months. There are also many predators here, including lions, cheetahs and leopards. Khutse is located 240 km west of Gaborone and is part of the river system that once fed Lake Makgadikgadi. Today, these lowlands provide excellent opportunities for observing the wildlife and dramatic events involving herbivores and carnivores taking place at the watering hole. Springbok, oryx and ostriches are represented in large numbers, here you can regularly see elands and giraffes.

How to get there. By air charter from Maun or Gaborone.

Kgalagadi International Park (The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park). His education was a unique event in the protection of Wildlife. The documents on its creation were signed by the governments of Botswana and South Africa, and Kgalagadi Park became the first in Africa, the agreement on the formation of which was concluded at such a high level. This reserve, officially opened in May 2000, was formerly known as the Mabuasehube Gemsbok National Gemsbok Park on the Botswana side and the Kalahari Gemsbok Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. The reserve is managed by a single administration from representatives of both countries. The total area of ​​the park is 38 thousand square meters. km. Three-quarters of its territory is located in the southwest of Botswana, the rest – in South Africa. In Botswana, the park is divided into three main areas: the Nossob River Valley, which stretches along the border of Botswana and South Africa, Mabuasehube region in the east and inland. The park has very beautiful landscapes, an impressive petrified river valley, bordered by dry shrubs and sand dunes of various colors, watering places are hidden in green oases. From the old river bed, wonderful views of the Nossob and Ayob valleys open up. Interesting tourist routes are laid in the Mabuasehube region with its pristine wild landscapes of the valleys. Legendary black-maned Kalahari lions, wild cats, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, including oryx and gazelles come here to drink. Here is the richest world of birds. Weaver birds are very interesting. They live in packs. The huge communal nests of these birds, arranged in complex structures in trees, are sometimes so heavy that they cause the tree to fall!

How to get there. By air charter from Gaborone.

What to See in Botswana

Main Regions in Crete, Greece

Main Regions in Crete, Greece

Crete – Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a miniature resort town with a charming promenade for walking and a lake in the center of the town. Numerous cafes, restaurants, fish taverns, souvenir shops are located near the lake and above it. Located in the largest bay in Crete – Mirabello, this town is suitable for lovers of a relaxing holiday and romantic trips. Recently, boat trips to the island of Chrissi (golden island) have been very popular, where huge Cedars grow on the north side, and on the south side you will find the turquoise sea and a magnificent white sand beach.

Crete – Amoudara

Amoudara is a resort just a few kilometers from Heraklion with sandy beaches, nightlife, numerous bars, taverns and discos.

Wide sandy beaches stretch for almost five kilometers in length. Basically, these are municipal beaches, with the exception of some belonging to hotels. Umbrellas and deck chairs, showers, volleyball courts are available for rent. Approximately thirty meters from the shore, under water, there is a stone ridge, a kind of breakwater, which comes in handy in the bay of the village of Amudara, open to all winds.

The resort along the beach has many traditional Greek-style taverns with live music, cafes, restaurants. Here they cook and treat wonderful fish and seafood dishes, and in bars, pizzerias – delicious pizza. There is no sleep here at night either. Modern nightclubs and discos are very popular among tourists. Young people walk until dawn, and after dancing they go to meet the sun.

Along the main street of the village there are many small shops selling souvenirs and everything that can be useful on vacation, there are also several supermarkets.

In addition, Amoudara is an excellent starting point for exploring central and eastern Crete. The main sights worth visiting are the palaces of Knossos, Malia and Phaistos, the village of Fodele, the Lassithi plateau, the city of Agios Nikolaos, the island of Spinalonga, the village of Anogia, the cave of Ideon Andron, the ruins of the Venetian castle located in Paleokastro.

Crete – Bali

Bali is a small resort located in a beautiful bay with rocky grottoes and caves, so the sea is always calm here. The first mention of this place dates back to the reign of the Venetians on the island. Bali is an Arabic word and means honey. We recommend this resort to lovers of a serene holiday alone with nature, family and friends.

Crete – Georgioupolis

Traveling east from the city of Chania, 33 km. on the way to Heraklion, there is a small town surrounded by greenery called Georgioupolis. This place has only sandy beaches, many taverns and restaurants with seafood, bars, and discos. On the city beach you can see the Church of St. Nicholas, built right in the sea. A thin path of stones leads to it, but you can also swim.

4 km from Georgioupolis there is a small village that has turned into a resort area – Kavros. This place has become quite popular for those who like to combine luxury holidays in good hotels with car travel. From Kavros, every hour, a “children’s” train with open trailers leaves for the mountains, which moves along different routes, one of which is a visit to a fresh lake in Crete – Lake Kournas. This lake is located in the foothills, 4 km from the tourist resort of Georgioupolis.

Lake Kournas is of volcanic origin. Its perimeter is about 3.5 km. and there is a lake at 23-25 ​​m above sea level. Here water is collected from mountain springs. The waters of both springs come from a deep abyss at a place called Dafnomadara. The depth of the lake is 26 meters. An underwater river emerges from it through a cave after 4 km and flows into the sea.

Some believe that the name of the lake comes from the same name of the village of Kournas. The ancient name of the lake was different – Korissia. Subsequently, the Arabs renamed it Kurnas. Kurnas means lake in Arabic. There are no fish in the lake, but freshwater turtles are in large numbers. After visiting Lake Kournas, you can rent a water bike, ride along the lake and swim.

Attention should be paid to visiting Argyroupolis, famous for its fresh springs, which were artificially decorated by locals into small ponds, small waterfalls, magnificently descending cascades of water. 2 km from the springs of Argyroupolis is the ancient city of Lappa, famous for its well-preserved Roman baths with colorful mosaics and avocado groves.

Crete – Ierapetra

Lassithi is the eastern part of the island, the greenest in comparison with Heraklion, with a population of about 70 thousand people. The name Lassithi comes from the ancient Greek word “lastos” – densely overgrown. The main part of the population is engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. This area is home to the famous palm-fringed Vai Beach, where the Bounty commercial was filmed. Of the historical monuments, the following are of interest:

  • Guria is one of the most remarkable excavations of the Minoan period;
  • Kato Zakros – famous Minoan palace
  • Lato or Etera – the ruins of an ancient city founded in the 7th century BC
  • Church of Our Lady of Kera with murals from the 14th-15th centuries
  • Toplou Monastery, where ancient frescoes of the 14th century and valuable icons have been preserved
  • Small nunnery Kritsa; an ancient fortress on the island of Spinalonga, in the former serving as a fortification.

In addition to historical and archaeological monuments, you can visit a lot of interesting places here, such as the Lassithi Plateau, famous for its numerous windmills, the Dikteon Andron cave, in which Zeus was born; the city of Ierapetra is the southernmost, warmest of the well-known resorts of the island. The Lassithi area is known for its magnificent beaches, beautiful bays, beautifully indented coastline, hospitable villages.

Main Regions in Crete, Greece


American Geographic Characteristics

American Geographic Characteristics

With an area of 42,044,000 km², it is the second largest land mass on planet Earth, covering 8.3% of its total surface area and 30.2% of the emerged land, and also concentrates about 12% of the human population.

Due to its large size and geographic characteristics, America is traditionally divided into North America, Central America, the West Indies, and South America. Based on their cultural characteristics, Anglo-Saxon America, the non-Latin Caribbean and Latin America are distinguished.

According to Countryaah, the American continent had previously been named Abya Yala by the ancient Mayans and Central American cultures, and Cem Anahuac by the Aztecs.


America corresponds to the second largest land mass on the planet, after Asia. It has an approximate area of 42,437,680 km². It extends from north to south from Cape Columbia (58ºN, Canada) in the Arctic Ocean to the Diego Ramírez Islands (56ºS, Chile), located in the Drake Pass that separates the American continent from Antarctica. Its easternmost point corresponds to Cape Branco in Brazil (34 ° 47’W) while the westernmost point corresponds to Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands (173 ° 11’E), next to the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from the mainland. Asian.


In the American territory, the plates of the earth’s crust (North American, Caribbean and South American) in their displacement from the center of the Atlantic towards the west, form the mountain range of the western edge of America, product of the subduction process of the Pacific plate. It is basically composed of a series of high mountain ranges on the western coast (mainly the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Andes, all part of the Ring of Fire) product of the collision of the continental plates with the oceanic and plains in the eastern areas.

Although the coast is largely regular, it has dismembered sections, mainly at its ends, giving rise to the islands of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland in the north, and Chile and Tierra del Fuego in the southern zone. Other important island groups are the Aleutian Islands in the extreme north-west, the Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, the Galapagos Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.


In North America, rivers of the three existing slopes can be identified: the Mackenzie River that flows into the Arctic slope, the Yukon, Colorado and Columbia rivers are the longest rivers on the Pacific Ocean slope, while on the Atlantic slope they stand out. the North Bravo River, the Mississippi-Missouri system, and the St. Lawrence River. Of all of them, the Mississippi stands out for being the longest and with the largest basin in this area of the continent, being the main river in the United States. In the lakes, those of the Great Lakes region stand out where lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Eire meet. All the above lakes share a glacial lake system, whose waters accumulate mainly due to winter thaws. These lakes are connected by rivers, canals and locks, emptying into the Atlantic through the Saint Lawrence River.

In Central America the rivers are short and correspond mainly to the Atlantic slope. These rivers fulfill several functions, even serving as borders; such is the case of the Segovia or Coco rivers (between Honduras and Nicaragua), the Lempa river (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) and the San Juan river (between Costa Rica and Nicaragua). In this area, the lakes are also smaller, highlighting lakes Nicaragua, Managua and Gatún, the latter, built by man, located in the Panama Canal, which provides the necessary water for ships to bridge the differences of level.

In South America, the Pacific slope reappears even though the rivers on the Atlantic slope are longer and more important. In the southern part of the continent, the Orinoco rivers, the Paraná-Río de la Plata system and the Amazon stand out. The Amazon River is the largest, the largest and the longest in the world, which forms the largest hydrographic basin in the world. Among the most important lakes in South America there are Lake Maracaibo, Titicaca, Poopó and Buenos Aires / General Carrera.


America has almost all of the existing climates. Between the coasts of Mexico and southern Brazil, the warm climate develops on the coastal plains and mountain slopes. The rainy intertropical climate and the jungle are characteristic of much of Central America, the Amazon plain and the Caribbean islands, while a savanna zone develops on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana.

In the subtropical zones close to latitude 30º there are arid zones, with desert characteristics such as the Sonora desert (southern United States and northern Mexico) and the Atacama (northern Chile), while in Patagonia it develops a cold desert climate. The steppes serve as a transitional passage to more temperate climates.

The temperate climate extends into the middle latitudes and mountain climbs, mainly on the Atlantic slope. The temperate climate with rains throughout the year extends to the coastal strips of Canada, Alaska and southern Chile, producing areas of mixed forest, while the temperate climate with summer rains is the most widespread climate on the continent, mainly in the Southeastern portion of the United States, central Mexico, and southeastern Brazil. The Mediterranean climate is found in California and the Chilean Central Valley, generating a style of vegetation known as chaparral.

Finally, cold climates extend along the extremes of the continent in the vicinity of the poles, especially in North America. The tundra is found throughout much of Alaska and Canada, and in the extreme south of South America; due to the effect of height in the Andean Puna and a large part of the mountainous areas. Finally, the polar climate is found in Greenland and the cold climate due to the height in the mountainous areas of the Rockies and the Andes.

American Geographic Characteristics

Honduras Country Overview

Honduras Country Overview

According to Countryaah, Honduras is a state of Central America. It borders Nicaragua (to the SE), Guatemala (to the W), and El Salvador (to the SW) and is wet for 650 km by the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea) and 95 km by the Pacific (Gulf of Fonseca). In 1973 they were returned to Honduras the islands of the Cisne (Swan Islands), in the Caribbean Sea, and in 1992 the island of El Tigre in the Gulf of Fonseca.

  1. Physical characteristics

The territory of Honduras corresponds in its generality to a vast plateau. Geologically it is characterized by a crystalline base of the Precambrian age, on which rests a sedimentary cover of the Mesozoic age; more recent sedimentary deposits, on the other hand, form the basis of the eastern lowland. Volcanism is particularly developed, with dull and active systems.

  • The orography is complex: to the west there are three series of direct reliefs from SW to NE (max alt. Cerro Las Minas, 2865 m), between which fertile valleys open up; in the eastern area various chains line up from N to S (the Sierra de Agalta reaches 2590 m), which sometimes reach the Caribbean coast, creating a high and rocky coast, like the one fronted by the Islas de la Bahía. But overall the Antillean coast, which extends from the Gulf of Honduras to Cape Gracias in Dios, is low and bordered by lagoons: the vast plains of Sula and Mosquitia open up there. Another flat area overlooks the Gulf of Fonseca.
  • The climate, tropical but influenced by sea and altitude, is very hot in the low coastal regions, temperate inland; rainfall is abundant in the Caribbean belt, exposed to the NE trade wind, attenuated in the Pacific belt and in the interior.
  • The rivers are numerous, the main ones – the Ulúa, the Aguán and the Patuca – flow into the Caribbean Sea, the Goascorán and the Choluteca into the Pacific Ocean.
  • The vegetation is luxuriant in the more humid areas, covered by the tropical forest; in the elevated areas, above 2000 m, oak and conifer woods predominate; the savannah is widespread in the drier areas.
  1. Population

As a consequence of the settlement process that took place in colonial times, albeit scarce due to the country’s poverty of resources, the ethnic framework of Honduras is quite composite: alongside the Mestizos, who make up 87% of the total population, there are Amerindians (5.5%), Blacks (4.3%) and a small percentage (2.3%) of Whites, which, moreover, hold the levers of power. The demographic increase, already low for a long time, recorded high values ​​during the 20th century. as a consequence of the decrease in mortality, while the birth rate is always very high (26.2 ‰ in 2009). The density of the population is however extremely varied, with strong irregularities in the distribution of the residents on the territory. The rural settlement clearly prevails over the urban one and the only large centers beyond Tegucigalpa, are San Pedro Sula, El Progreso and some port agglomerations (La Ceiba, Puerto Cortés).

  1. Economic conditions

The Honduras it is perhaps the poorest in resources and technology among the states of Central America, also frustrated by a series of negative situations: droughts, hurricanes, floods. ● 13% of the gross domestic product comes from agriculture, which exploits only a small part of the arable land. The government has addressed the main economic policy interventions to this sector, in an attempt to steal the country dependence on US multinationals. Commercial agriculture is of paramount importance: in addition to bananas (888,000 t in 2006), coconuts (in the Bahia islands), pineapples, citrus fruits, sugar cane, coffee and tobacco, palm oil are grown. Subsistence crops are those of maize, rice, sorghum, cassava, potatoes and beans. Mainly cattle are raised. Forests yield mahogany, cedar and pine. Mineral resources are important but little exploited: silver, gold, lead, zinc and antimony are extracted; in the Mosquitia the presence of oil has been ascertained.

  • The industrial sector, whose plants are gathering in the area of ​​San Pedro Sula connected to the free port of Puerto Cortés, is mainly linked to the processing of agricultural products and the production of consumer goods (footwear, cotton fabrics, Panama hats ), while, among the ‘basic’ branches, the importance of the cement tree (Potrerillos) grows. An electricity cogeneration plant that uses waste from sugar factories as fuel has been built in El Porvenir.
  • Inadequate communications network: railways are developed for 950 km, asphalted roads for 2845 km. Instead, the airlines were developed; Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are served by international airports.
  • The Honduras it is part, with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Salvador and Nicaragua, of a free trade area (Mercado Común Centroamericano).

Honduras Country Overview

Val di Fassa, Italy

Val di Fassa, Italy

In the heart of the ancient Dolomites, surrounded by mountain peaks covered with eternal snow, there is a valley of fabulous beauty – Val di Fassa. The region includes 13 resort towns – each with its own history, its own characteristics and picturesque landscapes, ancient architecture and modern comfortable hotels, restaurants with varied cuisine and bars serving fine wine from the province of Trentino. 1,200 km of ski slopes, sparkling snowy slopes, dense green forests, emerald sun-drenched plains, clear lakes and fast-flowing rivers… Val di Fassa, an entire state with its own traditions and culture, is a real paradise for skiers and mountain lovers.

Information about the weather in the resort in the coming days:

Val di Fassa is located in the heart of the Dolomites, in the northeastern part of the province of Trentino, on the border of the regions of Bolzano and Veneto.

Getting there
The nearest international airports are Bolzano (50 km), Verona (180 km), Venice (175 km).

Slopes, slopes, lifts

The Val di Fassa region has three main ski areas, each of which combines towns and adjacent slopes:
The first ski area includes the towns of Canazei (1460 m), Campitello (1460 m), Alba and Penia. This is the most prestigious and beautiful part of Val di Fassa, part of the famous carousel “Sella Ronda”, the length of the tracks here is 120 km. In addition to Val di Fassa, this includes three more resorts: Alta Badia, Arabba and Val Gardena.
The second skiing region combines the cities of Pozza di Fassa (1320m) and Vigo di Fasa (1390m), occupying a central position in the Fassa valley.
The third skiing region, Tre Vali, includes the resort towns of Moena and San Pellegrino, as well as the Alpe di Luzia, Passo San Pellegrino and Falcade valleys.
The variety of slopes of Val di Fassa allows you to ski for a week without ever repeating the route. 200 km of pistes (20% beginner, 70% intermediate, 10% expert) are located in the Faça valley alone. Beginners will enjoy the training slopes in Canazei, but most skiers will be happy that the bulk of the slopes in the valley are red. There are also many serious black slopes and beautiful off-piste slopes. The world famous carousel Sella Ronda passes through 4 passes and valleys of the region. You can ski here with the Dolomiti Super-ski ski pass, which gives you access to 38 ski centers in 11 valleys in the Dolomites.
All pistes are equipped with snow cannons, which guarantee perfect coverage of the slopes. You should definitely ski in the Arabba region (1636-2550 m), where there are black and red slopes for experienced skiers. Skiing on the Marmolada glacier (3340 m) – the famous peak of the Dolomites, covered with eternal snows – will also be unforgettable.
Above the towns of Pozza di Fassa and Vigo di Fassa, there is a skiing region of medium difficulty – Ciampedie. You can get there from Vigo di Fassa by cable car. In Pozza di Fassa there is a superbly lit night track, open 4 times a week.
The Alpe di Luzia area has excellent pistes that can be reached from the Ronchi station (10 minutes drive from the town of Moena). From here you can take the cable car to the Palais di San Martino and Civetta. The area is home to the Alpe Luzia ski carousel, which attracts intermediate skiers.
For snowboarders, there are 3 board parks and 3 halfpipes in the region.

Ski schools and kindergartens
Kindergartens, parks and mini-clubs from 18 months old are open in many towns of Val di Fassa (Alba di Canazei, Canazei, Pozza di Fassa, Vigo di Fassa, Moena, Passo San Pellegrino, etc.), they also work ski schools for children and adults.

Val di Fassa provides ample opportunities for all kinds of winter and all kinds of summer sports: mountain and flat skiing, snowboarding, skating, climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, rafting, fishing, paragliding, hiking trails, golf and much more. Also, many resorts have sports centers, swimming pools, tennis courts, squash courts and other conditions for sports for every taste.

The most popular resort towns
Canazei is one of the most famous towns and resorts of the valley, located at an altitude of 1460 m and surrounded by the mountain slopes of Marmolada and Sella. Canazei became a popular resort in the 1950s, there are numerous ski slopes, various winter and summer sports are offered, and in July there is a festival with wine, local dishes and folk music, and in August the Gran Festa da d’Istà.

Campitello di Fassa – the town is located at an altitude of 1450 m, at the foot of Mount Rodella (2400 m). One of the quarters of the city – Plan is an ancient Roman settlement, which is under the protection of the state. The delicacy local cheese Ciampedel de Fascia is also produced here.

Moena – the town is located at the entrance to the valley, in the center of the Tre Valli ski area and is surrounded by the Catinaccio, Sassolungo, Monzoni and Latemar mountains. The city is home to ancient churches, such as the church of San Vigilio with a Gothic tower or Sal Volfango with baroque ceilings. It also hosts the Val di Fassa Bike cycling race, which attracts cyclists from all over the world, and produces Puzzone di Moena cheese, the production of which is under the strictest control.

Pozza di Fassa – the name of the place comes from the Latin word Puteus. Surrounded by the peaks of Undici and Dodici, the resort is a great place for all kinds of winter sports, with a picturesque ski stadium with night lighting – Ski Stadium Aloch. Also here is the local Institute of Arts, where sculptors and artists learn their skills.

Soraga is one of the oldest towns in the valley, located on the banks of the Avisio River. The resort is great for families and is known for its handicraft traditions.

Vigo di Fassa – the resort is located in a sunny place, in the center of the valley, at an altitude of 1390 m, at the foot of Mount Catinaccio. At one time, the town was the administrative and religious center of the Val di Fassa, and today there is an institute where the Romansh language and culture are studied. This place is an ideal starting point for hiking trails through the Dolomites, and there is also an amusement park for children.

Mazzin is a picturesque town located in a sunny corner in the center of the valley. Mazzin became famous thanks to archaeological excavations, during which traces of the settlements of the ancient Reti tribes were discovered. Also in the town is the Casa Batte castle, decorated with ancient frescoes, and not far from the resort is the beautiful lake Antermoia, mentioned in Romansh legends.

San Pellegrino is a picturesque place located 11 km from Moena and surrounded by forests and mountain peaks. There is an amazingly beautiful lake and ancient buildings – the pilgrims’ shelter and the church of St. Anthony.

Restaurants, bars, shops The
resorts of Val di Fassa abound with restaurants representing local cuisine, cozy bars and lively nightclubs. Here you can taste Tyrolean cuisine, Italian delicacies, freshly baked pizza and excellent wines from the province of Trentino, and visit gastronomic festivals in Canazei and Moena. The region’s shops sell all sorts of souvenirs, local artisans, and local produce, including rare cheeses such as Puzzone di Moena or Ciampedel de Fascia.

Val di Fassa, Italy

Jordan Country Overview

Jordan Country Overview

According to Countryaah, Jordan is a state in southwestern Asia, in the Near East; the territory borders to the North with Syria, to the NE with Iraq, to the SE and to the South with Saudi Arabia, to the West with Israel. Until 1967 it included Transjordan (E of the Jordan River) and the West Bank, which then came under the control of Israel; since 1988 the Jordanian government has interrupted the residual legal and administrative ties with the West Bank, although without reaching a formal repeal of the act of annexation (April 1950) of this territory, whose future status juridical will depend on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and more specifically on the Palestinian question.

  1. Physical characteristics

The vast plateau of Transjordan is an integral part of the Syro-Arabian desert and sub-desert region. These tabular expanses are separated from the western highlands by the Palestinian tectonic depression, the section of the Great Rift Valley that runs from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Aqabah, encompassing the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

The climate is subtropical, warm and dry with little rainfall, concentrated in the winter period and which decreases as you proceed towards the E and towards the S: while on the West Bank reliefs, 600 mm of rain fall, and 400 mm of rain in Amman, in the extreme eastern and southern regions there is conditions of almost absolute drought. Axis of the very poor hydrography is the Jordan which, before throwing itself into the Dead Sea, receives, among others, the Yarmuk and the az-Zarqa; its regime is very variable, with significant winter floods and strong summer lean periods. The vegetation is mainly steppe, with the exception of the wetter areas where the Mediterranean scrub flourishes.

  1. Population

G.’s demographic structure was heavily affected by the difficult political situation created in the Near East after World War II. It is estimated that the population amounted to 200,000 residents in 1920, to 300,000 in 1938 and to 450,000 in 1947. With the successive immigration waves of Arab refugees, after the establishment of the State of Israel and the Arab-Israeli war and, then, following the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the population it has multiplied dramatically (1.3 million residents in 1952, passing to 1.7 ten years later and more than 4 million in Transjordan alone at the 1994 census), up to over 6 million in the first decade of the 2000s. Excluding desert areas, about 80% of the land area, the density is very high and in some governorates it exceeds 300 residents / km2. The urban population has experienced an accelerated and disordered growth, mainly linked to the high concentration in the cities of residents of Palestinian origin. There is also an intense sedentarization of the nomadic population, favored in recent decades by government intervention. Main cities are, in addition to the capital, az-Zarqa and Irbid. The other centers are basically just rural villages.

Regarding the language ➔ Arabi.

  1. Economic conditions

The Jordanian economy has long had to face the consequences of the difficult political situation in the Middle East: on the one hand, the territory and the scarce resources present have suffered for many years the strong demographic pressure of the numerous Palestinian refugees; on the other hand, the country was heavily penalized by the embargo decreed by the United Nations against Iraq, which drastically reduced transit trade, a fundamental component of the economy. In the last years of the 20th century. however, Jordan has recorded important economic progress, thanks to the launch of modernization plans that have led the country to integrate effectively into world trade (entry into the WTO in 2000) and to the huge funding secured by foreign aid.

Since the primary sector occupies a prominent place among the productive sectors, a large part of the available resources has been directed towards the enhancement of agricultural productivity, with the aim of reducing food imports. The main products grown are wheat and barley and, to a more limited extent, sorghum and maize; followed by lentils, tomatoes, citrus fruits, grapevines, olives, bananas and dates. Sheep farming is widespread, traditionally practiced by the Bedouin tribes, which offers a valuable contribution to the population’s diet.

Jordan is a country relatively endowed with phosphates (about 5.7 million tons extracted in 2007) and potassium salts (1.100.000 tons), which together make up a large part of exports. The presence of petroleum, copper, manganese, iron ores, not yet exploited, is reported. The shortage of energy sources represents one of the major limitations for industrial development. Until the 2003 war, Iraq ensured the satisfaction of almost all of its oil demand at a preferential rate; today, to produce thermal energy destined for internal consumption, Jordan uses part of the crude oil which, from Saudi Arabia, is conveyed to the coasts of the Mediterranean through an oil pipeline. The manufacturing sector, which participates with just under 15% in the formation of national income,

Annually the Jordan is visited by over 2,013,000 tourists, attracted above all by the ancient historical cities of Petra and Gerasa and by the seaside resources of the coast on the Red Sea.

There are few communication routes, the route of which largely follows the ancient caravans. Overall, the road network counts 7601 km (2005), while the operation of the railway network, which is represented by a single line that crosses the country longitudinally, connecting it to Syria, is reduced to a minimum (293 km in 2005).

Jordan Country Overview

Kazakhstan Country Overview

Kazakhstan Country Overview

According to Countryaah, Kazakhstan is a Central Asian state bordering NW and N with Russia (for 6846 km), E and SE with China, S with Kyrgyzstan, SW with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

  1. Physical characters

With its 2.7 million km 2, Kazakhstan is the ninth country in the world for territorial size. The territory is mainly flat, although it presents, in its various sections, a varied morphology. Proceeding from the W, the Turanian Lowland stretches first, bounded on one side by the Caspian Sea and, on the other, towards the NE, by modest reliefs, including the Mugodžary chain (657 m). Through the depression known as the Turaj Gate, the Turanian Lowland communicates with the arid and steppe-covered West Siberian Lowland. Towards the E, after a vast plateau (Alture del Kazakhstan) that culminates in Mount Aksoran (1565 m), the relief becomes more and more bumpy until it reaches the impervious Altai and del Tian Shan, respectively on the eastern and southern borders. Mount Khan Tengri (7010 m), one of the highest peaks of the Tian Shan, precisely marks the border between Kazakhstan, China and Kyrgyzstan. The rivers are concentrated in the northern and south-eastern sectors. The main ones are the Irtyš and the Ishim, tributaries, through the Ob´, of the Kara Sea; the Ural and the Emba that flow into the Caspian Sea; the Syrdar´ja and the Ili which flow into the Aral Sea and Balhaš Lake respectively. Other rivers (Turgaj, Sarysu) are lost in the steppe lowlands. The Kazakhstan overlooks some important inland basins of Central Asia: the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea (whose surface has significantly decreased due to withdrawals from the tributaries), the Balhaš, the Alakol´, the Zajsan, the Tengiz.

  1. Population

According to the official estimates of 2009, the current population is not much higher than 15 million, a figure almost corresponding to that of the 1999 census (14,953,000). In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the birth of the independent state there was instead a sharp decrease in the resident population (-9% compared to 1989), determined by the massive emigration of non-Kazakh ethnic components. On the one hand, over a million Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians) had abandoned the newborn Asian republic due both to the loss of the economic and social privileges reserved for them by the previous regime, and to the nationalist and increasingly less pro-Russian policy inaugurated by the Kazakh leadership.. On the other hand, some 650,000 Germans had emigrated to the much richer, now reunited motherland. Against, Mongolia. These massive population movements have ended up distorting the ethnic composition of the country. In 1989 the Kazakh component (37.4%) and the Russian one (37.4%) had the same consistency and, the two dominant groups were joined by Germans (6%), Ukrainians (6%), Tatars (2%), Uzbeks (2%), Belarusians (1%), Uighurs (1%). Fifteen years later, about 60% of the population was Kazakh, while the Slavic component considered as a whole (Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians) did not reach 29%. The birth rate is confirmed to be quite high (18.2 ‰), but the simultaneous presence of a mortality rate above 10 ‰ means that the natural balance is not able to significantly affect population growth, especially in phases, such as those recorded at the end of the 20th century, of strong emigration.

Despite the presence of urban centers of a certain importance (in particular those that arose along the ancient Silk Road), the definitive passage of the Kazakh people from nomadic lifestyles to more stable, even if not necessarily urban, forms of settlement, came with the annexation to the Russian Empire (1865). However, it was with the Soviet regime and in particular starting from the 1930s, coinciding with the implementation of the forced industrialization programs, that massive urban development took place. Over 200 cities sprang up scattered across the country at the different kombinats productive and millions of people (it is estimated about 2.5 million in the two decades 1950-70 alone) were induced to move there, abandoning their rural areas of origin. Nonetheless, still today, Kazakhstan presents itself as a country with a strong rural component (43%). The most populous city is Alma-Ata with 1.2 million residents (unofficial sources estimate a population of almost 2 million). Born as a Cossack military settlement at the time of Russian penetration, Alma-Ata only developed as an urban center from the end of the 19th century. It was the capital from 1929 to 1998 and although it has lost this function, it remains the most important city in the country and the main commercial and economic center. The new capital, Astana, had around 600,000 residents in 2006, double that of ten years earlier. It was renamed the ” Brasilia delle steppe “both because, like the South American city, it is rather isolated from the urban and infrastructural network of the country, and because no expense was spared for its construction and well-known architects were hired to design urban plans and buildings (e.g., Kisho Kurokawa and Norman Forster). Other important cities are Čimkent (540,000 residents), Located along the Turksib railway (Turkestan- Siberia), and Karaganda (450,000 residents), A large mining and industrial center, once with a German majority.

  1. Economic conditions

The enormous availability of raw materials and energy resources, the results of the reforms launched in the aftermath of independence and the high degree of economic openness are allowing Kazakhstan to emerge from the long phase of transition and suggest, for the medium and long term, rather bright growth prospects and economic performance. Like other ex-Soviet Asian republics, Kazakhstan was also affected, starting from the 1930s, by massive infrastructure and industrialization programs that determined the rapid and radical transformation of the economy, which had hitherto been almost exclusively agricultural. The production system was diversified and based on large industry, while the abundance of natural resources gave impetus to the extractive industry. After the dissolution of the USSR, all the weaknesses and defects of a rigid, inefficient economic system, oriented almost exclusively towards the production of raw materials and dependent, from a technological and commercial point of view, on Russia, made a series of radical economic reforms (from the liberalization of prices of consumer goods to the progressive privatization of all economic sectors, to the creation of a national currency, the tenge). Between 1992 and 1994, Kazakhstan’s GDP shrank by 35%, inflation exceeded 2000% and unemployment reached levels unimaginable until a few years earlier. Then, the adoption, between 1994 and 1996, of macroeconomic and anti-inflation measures under the supervision of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and the huge foreign investments made it possible to reverse the trend and embark on the path of growth. The economy showed a particularly positive cyclical trend until 2007, when GDP growth was 8%; then there was a decrease of up to 3% as a consequence of the drop in the price of oil and the global financial crisis. The unemployment rate fell from 8.4% in 2004 to 6.6% in 2008, while the percentage of people living below the poverty line ($ 35 per month) went from 34% in 1998 to 13, 8% in 2007.

  • The industrial sector (40% of GDP and 18% of employees) stimulates growth, which, while continuing to have the leading sector in the oil industry, has gradually diversified. The production of the manufacturing industry is constantly increasing, thanks to the growth of some sectors (textiles, machinery production and food). Growth in the construction sector was also strong, accounting for 5% of GDP, thanks to the impetus received from the improvement works of oil infrastructures and the boom in residential construction.
  • The main wealth of the country remains the mineral resources. Kazakhstan is the second largest oil producer within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Assured resources would amount to about 16 billion barrels, but those estimated would exceed 80 billion. The main deposits are those of Tengiz, Uzen´ and Karachaganak in Western Kazakhstan. Important international joint ventures have been signed for their exploitation. Among others, the Tengizchevroil (for Tengiz oil), headed by Chevron and with Kazakoil (the national company), Mobil and Lukoil, and the North Caspian sea production sharing agreement (for the Kashagan fields), led by ENI. Kazakhstan is also rich in natural gas and is among the first producers in the world of bauxite, manganese, coal, tungsten, titanium, cadmium, silver. The production of uranium is also huge.
  • The degree of economic openness is very high. Direct investments abroad, a key element in the current phase of economic development of the Kazakhstan, in 2004 were close to 8500 million dollars. The oil and gas industries absorbed 28% of it and the geological and prospecting activities linked to the mining activity another 46%. Thanks to the enormous availability of energy resources, the trade balance is always largely positive. Imports are growing, involving machinery, equipment, metallurgical and chemical products. The main commercial partners are the CIS countries, Russia in the lead, but trade with the EU and above all with China is increasing.

Kazakhstan Country Overview

Paraguay Country Overview

Paraguay Country Overview

According to Countryaah, Paraguay is a state of South America. It borders with Bolivia (to the N and NW), with Brazil (to the E) and with Argentina (to the SE, to the South and to the W).

  1. Physical characteristics

The territory of Paraguay, without an outlet to the sea, consists of 2 regions that are profoundly different from a physical, human and economic point of view: the south-eastern one, enclosed between the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, and the northwestern one, which is part of the Chaco Boreale (Paraguayan Chaco). The first, which represents the extreme offshoots of the Brazilian highlands, goes towards the S with a succession of low-lying terrain (rarely over 500 m); further to the East there is an undulating plateau that slopes slowly towards the furrow of the upper Paraná. To the west of the plateau, an extensive alluvial plain descends towards the left bank of Paraguay, crossed by streams and punctuated, in the lower part, by numerous marshy areas. The Paraguayan Chaco constitutes a uniform low plain (average altitude 150-200 m), interrupted only by some isolated relief; west of the course of Paraguay it gradually rises up to the Andean foothills.

Paraguay has a subtropical, hot and humid climate. Temperatures have quite marked seasonal and sometimes diurnal fluctuations and rainfall, mainly in summer and spring, falls in extremely different quantities from period to period; their quantity however decreases from E (1000-1500 mm per year) towards W (usually well below 1000 mm).

The Paraguay is crossed from N to S, with a mostly longitudinal course, by the Paraguay river which affects the country starting from Bahía Negra; along its course it receives numerous tributaries and flows just N of Corrientes, in the Paraná, also coming from the north. The hydrographic network in the eastern region is denser, while the Chaco, with the exception of the Pilcomayo, a right tributary of the Paraná, has an underdeveloped hydrography with watercourses that often run out by evaporation.

The vegetation reflects the climatic conditions. In the Chaco prairie and scrub with xerophilic characters predominate, which are accentuated towards N. In the eastern alluvial plains there is the prairie, which along the water courses is interrupted by the gallery forest; in the flooded areas (esteros) there is a vegetation of grasses and ferns and aquatic plants are widespread; the campos cerrados del N are xerophilous wooded savannahs.

  1. Population

The residents of the Paraguay are largely mestizos (86%), the result of the cross between the indigenous (Guaraní) and Spanish colonists; whites represent 9.3% of the population, while pure Amerindians are now only 1.8%.

The demographic dynamics have been very irregular: negative in the past, in relation to the war events that broke out after independence, positive in recent decades. The rate of increase (2.4% in 2003-08) is almost exclusively due to the positive balance of the natural movement; the immigration factor (there have been flows from Brazil and eastern countries in the past) has had little impact and indeed in some periods has been canceled out by a consistent emigration to Argentina and Brazil. The distribution of the population is extremely uneven: the greatest densities are in the eastern region, between the Paraguay river and the cordillera, which is counterpointed by the western region (Chaco), almost depopulated (average density of 0.5 residents / km 2). The Paraguayan population is still largely rural; the urban one, equal to 60% of the total, is mainly concentrated in the capital (519,647 residents) and its satellite centers. The only other important city is Ciudad del Este (223,350 residents), On the Paraná river.

Guaraní, an official language alongside Spanish, is a written language of literary dignity. Catholicism is the clearly dominant religion (almost 90%).

  1. Economic conditions

Still markedly rural, it is among the least developed in Latin America. In the 1970s, with the establishment of the first basic industries by the State, it experienced a notable economic expansion, which then contracted in the following decade due to the world crisis. Even the policy of liberalization of the productive apparatus established with the return of civilians to the government (1993) failed to relaunch a structurally fragile economy. At the end of the 1990s, the MERCOSUR crisis and the damage to agriculture caused by adverse climatic conditions further hampered the recovery.

Agriculture, breeding and forestry exploitation are basic to the country’s economy and employ 31% of the active population. Agriculture, although characterized by a dualistic structure (on the one hand the immense estates, on the other the small and very small peasant property), has not suffered the damage caused elsewhere by plantation crops and presents a fairly diversified picture of production. Main crops for export are soy, largely transgenic, and sugar cane, used mainly for the manufacture of rum and alcohol, followed by tobacco and cotton; among the subsistence crops corn, cassava, beans, rice and fruit prevail. Great importance is given to animal husbandry, based on extensive cattle breeding, which dominates in the central regions and in the Chaco.3 of timber per year) raises concerns about excessive deforestation, with negative environmental consequences. The hydroelectric potential has been exploited on a large scale and thanks to its exploitation the Paraguay has overcome energy self-sufficiency and now makes good income from the sale of excess energy.

The national industry, mainly concentrated in the metropolitan area of Asunción and in the Central department, finds many obstacles in the shortage of transport infrastructures and investments. The food sector prevails (processing and preservation of meat, sugar refineries, production of alcoholic beverages), followed by the chemical, electromechanical, textile, cotton, tobacco, wood, leather, glass and cement industries. The trade balance is passive, with a prevalence of imports over exports: among the former, fuels and lubricants, machinery, chemical and pharmaceutical products prevail; among sales, soybeans, raw cotton, lumber, meat and tobacco. Major suppliers and customers are Argentina, Brazil, USA, Uruguay and China, followed by Germany and Russia. Tourism is still underdeveloped.

The communication routes are inadequate: the railways (just 441 km) are centered on the Asunción-Encarnación line, the roads (29,500 km) have their main axes in the Pan-American highway, which joins Asunción to Ciudad del Este, in the direct asphalted section towards Argentina and in the Trans-Chaco which connects the capital with Bolivia. River navigation is important.

Paraguay Country Overview

Qatar Geopolitics

Qatar Geopolitics

According to Countryaah, Qatar is one of the most dynamic and innovative realities in the world. Fifty years ago it represented a small and semi-unknown realm, considered the ‘little brother’ of the Gulf oil monarchies. Although Qatar already boasted a per capita income of more than 35,000 dollars, it did not enjoy the same political and diplomatic weight that surrounded the Saudis, and the country seemed destined to remain a satellite of Riyadh for a long time. Things changed in the second half of the nineties when the former emir Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani decided to support projects aimed at exploiting the huge gas field (an energy resource then considered inexpensive) located off the Qatari coast., the largest in the world. In the 2000s, Qatar became the world’s largest exporter of liquid gas and its own GDP went from 8 to 192 billion dollars.

By exploiting his huge financial resources, the emir has therefore initiated a transformation of the country’s image abroad which has gradually led to the association of the name of Qatar with luxury, innovation and sport. The emirate has become one of the largest investors in the world, with assets held by the sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, estimated at between $ 100 and $ 200 billion. The funds were directed on high profile choices, from Barclays to Shell, passing through the City financial institution in London and for brands such as Chanel, Valentino and Porsche. A sports lover, al-Thani has also embarked on sporting adventures, buying the football teams of Paris Saint Germain and Malaga. Doha has also managed to become one of the most important artistic centers in the world within a few years. The small emirate achieved a great return in image and soft power with the opening of the all-news satellite channelpan-Arab, al-Jazeera. Since its birth in 1997, the television broadcaster has offered for the first time a space in which commentators from all over the Arab world could meet and, especially in the period of the second Intifada (of which al-Jazeera was able to offer an exemplary report coverage), has become the symbol of Qatar in the world.

Symbol of the influence acquired by Doha is the assignment to Qatar of the organization of the 2022 World Cup, an important international showcase. On the international scene, Qatar has also managed to establish itself for its diplomatic activism, sometimes with ambiguous contours. Over the years the emirate has tried to mediate in the hottest international conflicts, from Sudan to Afghanistan via Palestine. In 2008, Doha was also the site of the most important summit for the resolution of the internal political crisis in Lebanon and, subsequently, it mediated in the internal confrontation in Yemen, between the Shiite factions and the central government of Sana’a. Qatari diplomacy went as far as the African continent, where Doha was the guarantor of the talks for the definition of the borders between Eritrea and Djibouti. During and after the ‘Arab Springs’, Qatar became one of the major sponsors of the International Muslim Brotherhood, supporting its various local ramifications from Egypt to Syria. On the domestic front, Qatar is structured internally as an absolute monarchy, in which power is concentrated in the hands of the ruling family, the al-Thani. Following the resignation of Hamad, an unprecedented event in the history of the Gulf monarchies, since 25 June 2013 his son Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has been in power, whose succession was far from obvious, being the fourth son and not of the firstborn. The emir exercises the functions of head of state. Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani also belongs to the ruling family. In 2008, a new constitution came into force which for the first time provides for the popular election of two thirds of the parliament, whose members are now appointed by the emir. However, the elections for the renewal of the Consultative Assembly – which should simultaneously increase from the current 35 members to 45 – have not yet been held and the parliament continues to exert a completely marginal influence on the life of the country.

Qatar Geopolitics

Yemen Country Overview

Yemen Country Overview

According to Countryaah, Yemen is a state of Asia, at the southwestern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders on the N with Saudi Arabia and on the E with the Sultanate of Oman. Pertaining to the Yemen is the island of Socotra, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, as well as Perim, Kamaran, Hanish and other smaller islands in the Red Sea.

  1. Physical characteristics

The territory of the Yemen is located on the edge of the Graben which is part of the larger fracture system of the Rift Valley African. Proceeding inland, from the side of the Red Sea as well as the Arabian Sea, a narrow and flat coastal selvedge abruptly gives way to steep escarpments that lead to the central plateaus; these appear engraved by deep valley furrows such as the wide beds of the uidian, streams with a typically torrential regime, or by pits of tectonic origin and from intermontane basins. The morphology then becomes less harsh and the reliefs slope gently towards the NE, plunging into the great desert of ar-Rub al-Khali. The area is notable for its strong seismicity and, in its outermost part, the outflow of magma along the fracture lines has given rise to numerous volcanic systems that are now extinct. Physiographic entity in itself is the eastern part of the country, the Hadramaut region, a set of plateaus interrupted by important valley formations, which extends as far as Oman.

The country it is characterized by a dry tropical climate, with high temperatures that gradually mitigate due to the altitude. The reliefs, capturing the humid air masses of monsoon nature in the summer and Mediterranean cyclone residues in the late winter, allow rainfall which, in their values ​​(up to 900 mm per year in the internal mountain), are absolutely unique in the Arabian context. Very diversified landscapes derive from the interaction between orography, temperature and rainfall: the coast along the Red Sea (Tihama), while not lacking in settlements, is generally repulsive, with high temperatures, high humidity rates but little rainfall. The central area, the morphologically more uneven one, is climatically the most favored and its reliefs, terraced and adapted to agriculture, bear a high anthropogenic load. On the other hand, the transition zone to the east, downwind and therefore less affected by the rains, is drought, sparsely populated and a prelude to the desert landscape itself. Hostile is also the environment of the Hadramaut, where life abounds only in the oases and in the depths of the uidians.

  1. Population

The Arabs represent almost all (93%) of the residents of the country; in the Tihama and in the Aden area there are Nilo-Hamitic communities, which arrived in the Yemen in successive waves, the last of which occurred in 1992-93, following the civil war in Somalia. The demographic increase rate is high (2.7% in 2010), as are the birth rate (34.3 ‰) and the fertility rate (4.8 children per woman of childbearing age). The social conditions of the population are characterized by a great backwardness, as evidenced by infant mortality (56.7 ‰), which remains high, albeit declining in the last 20 years, the illiteracy rate, just under 50%, and life expectancy at birth which stands at 63 years. The prevailing form of settlement is centralized in small nuclei gathered around the oases, close to a wadi or in an elevated position. The weight of the urban population is modest, equal to 31% of the total (2008). The main demographic and economic center is the capital (1,947,139 residents In 2006). After Sana, the major centers are Aden, with an important port in an excellent strategic position (at the entrance to the Red Sea) with respect to the large currents of maritime traffic, Taizz and Hodeida.

Largely dominant religion is the Sunni Muslim, which reaches 99% in the north of the country; in the south, 45% of the population is of the Shiite rite.

  1. Economic conditions

Listed as one of the poorest countries in the world, the Yemen has found a response to the high demographic pressure and scarcity of resources with a massive migratory exodus, which lasted until the 1980s, to oil countries, notably Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. In 1983, the peak of the phenomenon, emigrant remittances constituted about 40% of the gross national product of the two countries (North and South) as a whole. Unification did not solve the chronic problems of the new state. With perestroika the Yemen of the South had lost the advantages that the USSR guaranteed for various reasons, and inherited obsolete productive structures and a hypertrophic bureaucratic-military apparatus. The discovery and commercialization (since 1987) of oil seemed to herald better times, but the Gulf War, due to the ambiguous position taken towards Iraq, led to the suspension of aid and a dramatic exodus from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to over a million Yemenis. Reunification, opposed by powerful neighbors, still appears more formal than substantial today, and was marked by bloody episodes of civil war.

The primary sector occupies 33.9% of the assets (2006), but only 9.7% participates in the formation of the gross product (2009). Just 8% of the territory is arable and 2/3 consists of parcels of less than 1 ha. On the highlands, minor cereals and fruit trees prevail. Also produced is a high-quality coffee, widely exported, and qat (Catha edulis), a plant whose buds, when chewed, secrete alkaloid substances, and of which the Yemenites are major consumers. The qat is not only a social problem, but also an economic one, as just under 50% of the arable land is destined for the cultivation of Catha edulis, which absorbs 30% of the country’s water resources. On the coast, investments are made in industrial crops such as cotton, tobacco, dates and bananas. However, the agricultural trade balance remains strongly in deficit and the phenomenon of de-naturalization is serious. Fishing is expanding and in al-Mukalla, on the Gulf of Aden, there are product processing plants; the livestock patrimony is also substantial.

The industry – apart from the oil sector (almost 15 million tonnes in 2008, with refineries in Mā′rib and Little Aden), however affected by regional tensions and market fluctuations – is underdeveloped and not very diversified (in addition to the traditional types (textiles, food, tanning, tobacco processing), there are factories for the production of plastic materials and building materials; the secondary sector occupies 18% of the assets and makes up 46.2% of the gross product. Natural gas reserves are substantial (480 billion m3), the exploitation of which began in 2004. Tourism has good development opportunities due to the charm of the desert environments and the architectural heritage of the ancient Yemeni cities, but is struggling to establish itself due to the conditions of serious insecurity in the country. The trade balance is strictly dependent on the trend in the price of crude oil, which constitutes over 90% of exports. Main trading partners are China, Thailand, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Land communications can count on 71,300 km of roads, of which 6,200 are asphalted. The railways are completely missing. International airports in the capital and in Aden.

Yemen Country Overview