Hungary – Budapest: Architecture (1)

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. As the largest city in Hungary, it serves as the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center. In 2008, Budapest had 1,702,297 inhabitants. The architecture reflects the many centuries of its history. Read the story about gay Hungary

Italy – Rome: Audience with Pope

Every week the Pope appears before an audience of several thousand tourists and pilgrims in the purpose-built audience hall (an ill-suited modern building crammed against the baroque and neo-classical structures of St. Peter’s Square). He reads a message (in Italian) after which the various attending groups are announced by a cardinal. As their names are

Poland – Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. The camp took its name from the nearby town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz in German). Birkenau, the German translation of Brzezinka, refers to the many birch trees surrounding the complex. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum estimates the death toll at 1.1 million, about 90 percent of whom were

Switzerland – Cityscapes

Switzerland is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7.6 million people in Western Europe with an area of 41,285 km2. The country is a federal republic consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country’s economic centres are its two global cities, Geneva and especially Zürich. Switzerland

UK – Stratford-on-Avon

From a humble Stratford-on-Avon village emerged one of the world’s greatest writers, William Shakespeare (about whom very little is actuallyknown). He was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or

Hungary – Budapest: Architecture (2)

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. As the largest city in Hungary, it serves as the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center. In 2008, Budapest had 1,702,297 inhabitants. The architecture reflects the many centuries of its history. Read the story about gay Hungary

Ireland – Galway and southwest

Limerick is a city and the county seat of County Limerick in the province of Munster, in the midwest of Ireland. The city lies on the River Shannon and has a 2006 population of 91,000. The city itself dates from at least the Viking settlement in 812. The Normans redesigned the city in the 12th

Italy – Rome: Colosseum & Forum

One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Colosseum was built for sports and entertainment, which included combat between gladiators who usually killed their opponents and included watching wild animals attack and kill unarmed civilians. Today the only competition is preening and cruising among countless thousands of students who visit the Coloseum each

Poland – Treblinka

Treblinka II was a German extermination camp in occupied Poland during World War II. Around 850,000 people – more than 99.5 percent of them Jews, but also other victims (among them 2,000 Romani people) – were killed there between July 1942 and October 1943; the camp was closed after a revolt during which a few

Poland – Poznan: City and Region

Poznan is a city in west-central Poland with about 570,000 inhabitants. Located on the Warta River, it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, making it an important historical centre and a vibrant centre of trade, industry, and education. Poznan´ is Poland’s fifth largest city and fourth biggest industrial centre. It is also the

Slovenia – Ljubljana City 2009 (3)

Ljubljana has a diversity of scenes, from the quietly flowing Ljubljanica River to the sprawling University with a free Internet cafe) to the remnant walls of an ancient Roman city. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia with about 370,000 population and has diverse architectural styles as can be seen in this gallery. Slovenia’s most renown

UK – London

London is one of the oldest and most important commercial and cultural cities in the world. It is the most populous municipality in the European Union. In the past twenty years, starting in the 1980’s, London–and the United Kingdom–has become a leading proponent for gay human rights. The landmark Civil Partnership Act 2004 created a

Bulgaria – Black Sea Coast: Varna to Nesebar

After World War II, Bulgaria became a communist state and part of the Eastern Bloc. In 1990, after the Revolutions of 1989, the Communist party gave up its monopoly on power and Bulgaria transitioned to democracy and free-market capitalism. Currently Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy under a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the

Germany – Berlin (1)

Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. With a population of 3.4 million within its city limits, Berlin is the country’s largest city. It is the second most populous city and the ninth most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany, it is the centre of

Ireland – Sligo and northwest

Sligo is the county town of County Sligo in northwest Ireland. The poet W. B. Yeats is associated with Sligo. Much of his writing is descriptive of the area around Sligo town. In particular "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is a reference to a small, uninhabited island on Lough Gill, which is a lake adjacent

Italy – Rome: Vatican Museum (2)

The second ‘half’ of the Vatican Museum happens after the Sistine Chapel as one makes the 1500 meter walk back to the entry, passing through another giant hall of painted ceilings and a separate museum with still more masterpieces by great Italian masters. The exit is via a new spiral ramp that leads countless thousands

Poland – Warsaw City (1)

Warsaw’s population as of 2007 was estimated at 1,706,624, with a metropolitan area of approximately 3,350,000. It is the capital of Poland. Warsaw’s mixture of architectural styles reflects the turbulent history of the city and country. During World War II, Warsaw was razed to the ground by bombing raids and Nazi destruction. After liberation mass

Poland – Wieliczka: Salt Mines

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka, is within Poland’s Kraków metropolitan area. It had been until 2007 in continuous operation, producing table salt, since the 13th century. It was one of the world’s oldest operating salt mines. The mine reaches down to a depth of 327 meters (1000 feet) and is

Slovenia – Ljubljana City 2009 (1)

Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia with about 370,000 population and has diverse architectural styles as can be seen in this gallery. Slovenia’s most renown architect was Joze Plecnik (1872-1957) whose work is seen throughout the city. He was also a city planner and designed numerous public spaces especially along the Ljubljanica River that flows