Kiel, Germany Webcamera

December 26, 2015

Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

kielKiel

Kiel Fjord was probably first settled by Normans or Vikings who wanted to colonize the land which they had raided, and for many years they settled in German villages. This is evidenced by the geography and architecture of the fjord. The city of Kiel was originally founded in 1233 as Holstenstadt tom Kyle by Count Adolf IV of Holstein, and granted Lübeck city rights in 1242 by Adolf’s eldest son, John I of Schauenburg. Being a part of Holstein, Kiel belonged to the Holy Roman Empire and was situated only a few miles south of the Danish border.

Kiel, the capital of the county (later duchy) of Holstein, was a member of the Hanseatic League from 1284 until it was expelled in 1518 for harbouring pirates. In 1431, the Kieler Umschlag (trade fair) was first held, which became the central market for goods and money in Schleswig-Holstein, until it began to lose significance from 1850 on, being held for the last time in 1900, until recently, when it has been restarted.

Kiel was the site of the sailors’ mutiny which sparked the German Revolution in late 1918. Just before the end of World War I, the German fleet stationed at Kiel was ordered to be sent out on a last great battle with the Royal Navy. The sailors, who thought of this as a suicide mission which would have no effect on the outcome of the war, decided they had nothing to lose and refused to leave the safety of the port. The sailors’ actions and the lack of response of the government to them, fuelled by an increasingly critical view of the Kaiser, sparked a revolution which caused the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the Weimar Republic.

Cerro Catedral is a mountain located 12 miles from San Carlos de Bariloche, and inside the Nahuel Huapí National Park, Patagonia, Argentina.

argentinaCerro Catedral

The mountain holds one of the biggest ski centers in South America, with 75 milesof ski runs, and a lift capacity of 35,000 skiers per hour.  Cerro Catedral has the highest frequency of days with snowfalls in Argentina, averaging 98 days per year.  It is also very popular due to the magnificent view of the Nahuel Huapi lake.

Lake Nahuel Huapi is the largest and deepest clear water lake in the lake district of Argentina, with a depth of  1,394 ft.  The lake was discovered by the Jesuit priest Nicolás Mascardi in 1670 who also built a chapel on the Huemul Peninsula of the lake.  The lake extends 72 miles across the border with Chile, and includes many fjords and the Valdivian temperate rain forest.

Nahuel Huapi lake was known to Spaniards since the times of the Conquest of Chile. In the summer of 1552–1553, the Governor of Chile Pedro de Valdivia sent Francisco de Villagra to explore the area east of the Andes at the latitudes of the city of Valdivia. Francisco de Villagra crossed the Andes trough Mamuil Malal Pass and headed south until reaching Limay River in the vicinity of Nahuel Huapi Lake.

Costa da Caparica  is a Portuguese civil parish, located in the municipality of Almada along the western coast of the district of Sétubal.

port5Costa da Caparica

 Human presence in the area of Almada dates to the end of the Neolithic period about 5000 years ago; archeological excavations performed in the municipality suggest that non-sedentary nomadic tribes may have occupied this location sporadically. The gradual development of settlement here made its greatest advance with the coming of Islamic civilization, when Muslims constructed a fort at Almada to defend and monitor the entrance to the Tagus River. Lying across the river from Lisbon, the area of Almada was a crossroads for a succession of various peoples who traded along the Tagus, including Phoenicians, Romans and Moors.

Legend suggests that, in 1800, the Costa da Caparica was the site for the Casa da Coroa (the first house of rock and limestone) which received its importance for a little-known fact.  It was believed that King John VI of Portugal in 1824 had eaten a delicious seafood stew, and for that reason, he ordered that the royal coat-of-arms be raised on the local fountain. Similarly, the site was the supposed way-point on journeys involving Queen Maria II of Portugal and King Pedro V of Portugal and his Royal Consort, who travelled through the Costa de Caparica on unrelated trips.

Hanalei Bay, Hawaii Webcamera

November 21, 2015

Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauaʻi island in Hawaii.

hi4Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay consists of nearly two miles of beach, surrounded by mountains. In the summer, the bay offers excellent mooring for sailboats, stand up paddle boarding and swimming. During the winter the surf becomes large and is a favorite surf location.

On April 5, 1824, King Kamehameha II’s royal yacht, Pride of Hawaii, sank near the mouth of the Waiʻoli River, on the southwest corner of the bay after its crew struck a 5-foot-deep (1.5 m) reef a hundred yards offshore. It is believed the captain and crew were drunk at the time. A large section of the ship’s hull washed ashore in 1844 in a winter storm surge, but most of this historic wreck remains buried in silt in the bay. In 1995–2000, archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History excavated the wreck and recovered more than 1,200 artifacts. During this excavation, a 40-foot (12 m) section of the stern was discovered, documented, and then re-buried where it was discovered.

Japanese author Haruki Murakami wrote a short story entitled “Hanalei Bay” set in the area. The story is included in the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Hanalei Bay also served as a filming location for the 1958 film South Pacific.

The Pointe du Raz is a promontory that extends into the Atlantic from western Brittany, in France.

Pointe du Raz

It is named after the Raz de Sein, the dangerous stretch of water between it and the island of Sein (Enez Sun in Breton). It is a dramatic place of crashing waves and strong winds. The word raz was borrowed from Norman by the Bretons and shares the same etymology as the English word race “strong current of water”, both are from Old Norse rás.

La Vieille is a lighthouse in the département of Finistère at the commune of Plogoff, on the northwest coast of France. It is among the small class of lighthouses around the coasts of France carrying the moniker “hell”, due to a remote position in rough seas.  La Vieille achieved notoriety in the 1920s when two disabled war veterans were stranded there for weeks by storms, their health deteriorating. They were employed under a new law reserving the job of lighthouse keeper to those who had served in the war. The tremendous difficulties experienced in getting them back to shore led to the repeal of the new law. In 1995 it was the penultimate French lighthouse to become automated, a process delayed due to the keepers on-site staging a protest against the task being carried out.

Great storm of 2014

St Ives, Cornwall Webcamera

October 18, 2015

St Ives is a seaside town, civil parish and port in Cornwall, England. 

ives4St Ives

The town lies north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea. In former times it was commercially dependent on fishing. The decline in fishing, however, caused a shift in commercial emphasis, and the town is now primarily a popular holiday resort, notably achieving the title of Best UK Seaside Town from the British Travel Awards in both 2010 and 2011. St Ives was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1639. St Ives has become renowned for its number of artists.

The origin of St Ives is attributed in legend to the arrival of the Irish Saint Ia of Cornwall, in the 5th century. The parish church bears her name, and St Ives derives from it.

The Sloop Inn, which lies on the wharf was a fisherman’s pub for many centuries and is dated to “circa 1312”, making it one of the oldest inns in Cornwall. The town was the site of a particularly notable atrocity during the Prayer Book rebellion of 1549. The English Provost Marshal (Anthony Kingston) came to St Ives and invited the portreeve, John Payne, to lunch at an inn. He asked the portreeve to have the gallows erected during the course of the lunch. Afterwards the portreeve and the Provost Marshal walked down to the gallows; the Provost Marshal then ordered the portreeve to mount the gallows. The portreeve was then hanged for being a “busy rebel”.

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Vik is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway.

stort2Vic i Sogn

The farms in Vik lie on old marine terraces, and many of the burial mounds lie on the edges of these.   The Hove mounds were built about 400-500 AD. At Hopperstad, finds have been made that prove Viking raids from Vik. These finds are bronze bowls and bronze dishes, things that probably found their way to Norway with the Viking raids.

In the latter half of the 12th century the Hopperstad Stave Church was built at Hopperstad and the stone Hove Church was built at Hove.  The Stave churches are constructions of high quality, richly decorated with carvings. In virtually all of them the door frames are decorated from top to bottom with carvings. This tradition of rich ornamentation appears to go back to the animal carvings of the Viking Age. The dragons are lovingly executed and transformed into long-limbed creatures of fantasy, here and there entwined with tendrils of vine, with winding stems and serrated leaves. The elaborate designs are executed with supreme artistic skill. The stave church doorways are, therefore, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. However, it is difficult to connect them with the Christian gospel.  The Hopperstad stave church was saved from demolition on the initiative of the architect Peter Andreas Blix.

The “West Norwegian Fjords of Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord” were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2005.  The two fjords are situated 120 kilometres (75 mi) from each other and they are separated by the Jostedalsbreen glacier.