Topic: Europe

The Spitbank Fort in the Solent strait in Great Britain.

Solent Forts: Strongholds in the Sea

23.08.2016

The Solent? Non-Britons may wonder what or where that might be. A marine area brimming with flat fish floundering about perhaps – or a lonely island lost somewhere in the limitless ocean? Whereas the former’s majority are commonly frequenting the chilly waters of the North Sea around the bend, the latter is a pretty close guess, at least when it comes to the „island“ part. Solving the geographical riddle: the Solent is a strait (about 20 x 4 miles) running between the mainland of England and the Isle of Wight. It not only serves as a shipping route for commercial and military vessels, but also poses as a welcome playground for a multitude of watersports. Southampton, the largest port, surely rings a bell in many a mind as being the last British pier for RMS Titanic to call at before commencing her unfortunate voyage across the Atlantic. Another popular harbour lying by Solent shores is Portsmouth, from where before-mentioned enigmatic islands are best reached: the Solent Forts, a group of sturdy man-made islands built in the late 19th century to ward off sea-born attack. The three Forts – Spitbank, No Man’s Land and Horse Sand – were decommissioned after WW II, lay dormant for a number of years, put up for sale in the 1960s seeing changing ownership. Today, the Solent Forts offer luxurious accommodation incorporated in extraordinary venues and are owned and managed by the AmaZing Venues company. www.amazingvenues.co.uk/solent-forts

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
The Redhead Convention in Ireland

The power of Ginger: The Irish Redhead Convention

8.08.2016

Redheads are redheads because of their ginger gene – „a series of mutations in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), a gene located on chromosome 16“. Now we know! Familiar characteristics common in redheads are lighter eye colours, fair skin with lots of freckles, a hightened sensitivity to ultraviolet rays and risk of skin cancer. Red hair accounts for only 0.6% of the global population and is the rarest of hair colours. At 10%, Ireland has the second highest per capita redhead-rate (after Scotland). Born in the wrong age of time, predominantly females endowed with a mass of threateningly red hair were destined to be burned at the stake, because – ooooheee – they harboured mysterious magical powers and rode on broomsticks fuelled by witchcraft. Fortunately the attitude towards enigmatic powers has changed drastically. Today, they are rather considered an asset than a curse and even for a redhead, longevity has become a realistic possibility.

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Crazy Golf in London

Swingin’ in London: Crazy Golf by the foot of the Gherkin

7.07.2016

Many a mini golf course has popped up in Britain over the recent past: in the countryside, in themed parks or on lost islands, on rooftops, in junkyards or – like this one – in a former WWII bunker building situated on one of London’s poshest locations. The two 9-hole courses available are named after the one significant characteristic they each feature: a picturesque windmill with moving blades and a welcomingly illuminated Lighthouse.

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Typically German?

Typically German?

29.06.2016

What Germans travelling resent about travelling Germans

The good thing is, that the survey we’re talking about was conducted amongst Germans only – 2033 of them. As is known, we are pretty adamant when it comes to judging anybody’s demeanour: sugar-coating our opinion is commonly not one of our inborn traits. The findings may well contain more than a kernel of truth and – what a relief! – the data produced will not rest on a grudge possibly harboured by random foreign nations for whatever reason. So, this is probably as unbiased as it gets. The travel search engine kayak.de‘s survey is deemed representative amongst Germans from 18 onwards. It revealed that Germans abroad are too noisy, too stingy, too arrogant and often oh so embarrassing! Read article

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Berlin Restaurant vs. Food Waste

Berlin Restaurant operates with Food rescued from being wasted

13.06.2016

„Hunger is one of the world’s most urgent development challenges. One third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally“, says FAO, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Half of what is being wasted alone could feed the entire world. While the privileged drown in affluence, about one billion people are going hungry. Food waste simultaneously means squandering of land, energy, water and natural resources in general and renders the increased level of emission it creates even more paradox. Costs associated with the 88 million tonnes of food waste caused yearly within the EU is estimated at more than 143 billion euros. Food waste does represent a serious environmental and economic issue, but more than anything else it is an ethical one!

A group of young people in Berlin have made it their mission to contribute to reduction of food wasted thoughtlessly. In May, 2016 they opened Restlos Glücklich, Germany’s first restaurant predominantly utilising food surplus which might otherwise be destined for the bin. The team cooperates with providers who follow the same creed and who have become reliable partners of a number of charitable initiatives.

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Reading time: about 4 minutes