International Travel

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Surprise discovery of huge tropical fish on US beach

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A large colourful fish has washed ashore on the US coast, with aquarium officials describing it as a rare occurrence.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 45-kilogram opah fish, also called a moon fish, was found on Sunset Beach in Seaside, a city in northwest Oregon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While rare this far north it is not unheard of,” Seaside Aquarium said of the unusual appearance of the fish in the area in a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/SeasideAquarium/posts/6224256220917665" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook post</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keith Chandler, the general manager of Seaside Aquarium, told CNN that finding an opah on the Oregon coast is “uncommon” and that the fish was “in such great shape”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They’re pretty cool fish, and we don’t normally see them on the shore,” said Mr Chandler.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was pretty exciting for locals.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to the condition of the fish, Mr Chandler believes it had been on the beach for less than an hour before aquarium staff were notified.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately, it washed up not living, but we got to it before the birds,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Chandler said the opah is being stored in a large freezer, and that one lucky school group would get the chance to dissect the fish once the school year starts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/opah#overview" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, little is known about the opah since they live deep in the ocean.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The species is usually found in temperate and tropical waters.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The NOAA describes the opah as having a silvery-grey, round body, with a rose red belly, red fins, and eyes encircled with gold.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Seaside Aquarium / Facebook</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Bargain Italian homes sell for under $2

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Houses in Italy are selling for as little as one euro, thanks to a new initiative started by several Italian municipalities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1 Euro House Project hopes to revitalise particular areas of the country and stem the rate of residents moving away.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sambuca di Sicilia, a municipality in the region of Sicily, has seen incredible success from the initiative, with approximately 16 dwellings being purchased since the scheme was announced in 2019.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CODg8wLNIqu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CODg8wLNIqu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bell’Italia (@bellitalia_magazine)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since then, Sambuca has attracted reporters and foreign buyers looking for a bargain home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the reasons behind Sambuca’s huge popularity in comparison to other unpopulated towns involved in the scheme are unknown, the area has hopes to replicate its initial success.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A second batch of abandoned homes have been put on the market for a symbolic two euros (AUD $3.20).</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKG2wZbslyR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKG2wZbslyR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sambuca di Sicilia (@sambucadisicilia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the 2019 scheme, local authorities have continued to receive requests from foreigners interested in buying a bargain property. In response to the continued interest, they have decided to sell about 20 abandoned buildings, many of which are adjacent houses, giving buyers an opportunity to buy more than one and knock them through.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The chosen properties are all within the old “Saracen” neighbourhood, which were abandoned after a catastrophic earthquake devastated the area in 1968.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQbEoqpsUP8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CQbEoqpsUP8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sambuca di Sicilia (@sambucadisicilia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The homes will be going to auction at a starting price of two euros and will be sold to the highest bidder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most of the homes are in need of repairs, while others are still filled with forgotten items and broken furniture.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Any who are interested in partaking can complete and submit an application - available from the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.comune.sambucadisicilia.ag.it/Case%20a%202%20Euro/Index.htm" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">town’s website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - until November 5, with the public auction likely to take place several weeks later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2019, the homes sold for prices ranging from one euro to </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">€</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">25,000 (approximately $40,000 AUD).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, most went for somewhere between </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">€5000 and €10,000 (AUD $8000 to $16,000).</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: irusya_busya / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Take a virtual tour of New York’s brand new Legoland

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The first theme park to open in the Northeast United States in 40 years pays homage to a beloved toy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Legoland New York opened its doors to the public last week, with seven different lands for kids and adults to explore.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The opening comes as a sign of relief for the state and industry that have both been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The pandemic took a devastating toll on New York, and as we make our comeback, the new Legoland New York Resort in Orange County is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity that this state has always been known for,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-full-opening-theme-park-legolandr-new-york-resort-orange-county" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Governor Andrew Cuomo said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a statement on Friday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is historic,” Cuomo said. “This is the first new theme park in the Northeast United States in 40 years.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The theme park features 50 rides stretched out across 520 acres.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Built in Goshen, a village in Orange County, the theme park is roughly 95 kilometres from Manhattan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reservations are required and the park uses a cashless system for tickets, games, food and other services.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: legoland.newyork / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Lost 3000-year-old city rediscovered

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In one of the most important archaeological finds since 1922, a 3,000-year-old “lost city” has been discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in present-day Luxor.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to prominent archeologist Zahi Hawass, who led the expedition, the newly-found city dates back to the era of king Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it,” Hawass said in an online statement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Egyptian expedition was surprised to discover the largest city ever found in Egypt,” the 74-year-old added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The excavation started in September 2020 and within weeks, to the team’s great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What they unearthed was the site of a large city in good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and rooms filled with tools of daily life.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Hawass, the city was the largest administrative and industrial settlement at the time on the western bank of Luxor, in southern Egypt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team also found rings, scarabs, coloured pottery vessels, and mud bricks bearing the seal of king Amenhotep III’s cartouche which help confirm the dating of the city.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The discovery of this lost city is the second most important archaeological find since the tomb of Tutankhamun,” said Betsy Bryan, a professor of Egyptology at John Hopkins University in the US.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Dr Zahi Hawass / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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World’s deepest pool opens in Dubai

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dubai, home to the world’s tallest skyscraper and largest mall, has recently welcomed another record-breaking attraction - the deepest dive pool in the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new pool that is 60 metres deep and filled with 14 million litres of fresh water - equivalent to six Olympic swimming pools - opened on June 29 by invitation only as part of the Deep Dive Dubai attraction. The pool will be open to the general public later this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pool also holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving, taking the record from Poland’s 45-metre-deep Deepspot pool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pool will feature two underwater habitats with a dry chamber at six and 21-metres deep, 56 underwater cameras, and advanced sound and mood lighting systems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The attraction will also include a ‘sunken city’, with an abandoned streetscape and an apartment, garage, arcade and more that divers of all levels can explore.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Its first visitors have included movie star Will Smith, who shared a video of his visit to the pool on Instagram.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRCKVIfB-br/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRCKVIfB-br/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So I’m always in Dubai, and a friend of mine told me I have to check out this pool. There’s something weird about it. Deep Dive Dubai, I’m about to go down. The deepest pool on Earth, 200 feet deep. Madness,” Smith said in the video.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The diving complex also offers courses for diving beginners and certified divers, as well as a restaurant equipped with windows and TV screens where non-diving family and friends can watch the divers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The depth of the pool has prompted Deep Dive Dubai to post a notice on </span><a href="http://www.deepdivedubai.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">its website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> discouraging visitors from seeing the city’s famous Burj Khalifa after diving.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Don’t visit the top of the skyscraper after diving,” the notice read.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“After any dive, it’s recommended to wait 18-24 hours before ascending higher than 300 metres. However, there is no risk in diving after having visited the tallest building in the world.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Deep Dive Dubai</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Weird Margaret Court twist at Wimbledon

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post-body-container"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Twitter users were up in arms as they thought they spotted Margaret Court at the Wimbledon final, where Ash Barty ended up winning.</p> <p>Many were questioning why she was allowed to attend the match while Barty's parents and family were watching the match on TV in Australia.</p> <p>However, Court wasn't at Wimbledon, and the Twitter user to point it out claimed it was a joke.</p> <p>The user who originally posted the clip suggested King and Navratilova were saying: "How the hell did Margaret Court get here?"</p> <p>Unfortunately, others believed that the caption meant Court had attended the match.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">How the hell did Margaret Court get here?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WIMBLEDON?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WIMBLEDON</a> <a href="https://t.co/D8dOmzVyQy">pic.twitter.com/D8dOmzVyQy</a></p> — Pup Fiction (@jjjove) <a href="https://twitter.com/jjjove/status/1413858588049633293?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>The joke didn't land and resulted in a range of people being angry that Court was allowed to attend the match, despite her being home in Australia.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The hilarious part about Ash Barty &amp; her brilliant Wimbledon win - the left were hysterical about Margaret Court sitting next to Martina. Um, no, that was Billie Jean King. They don’t even know what the person they hate looks like 🤦🏼‍♀️</p> — Catherine (@catherine___c) <a href="https://twitter.com/catherine___c/status/1413999372828700675?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <p>However, others pointed out the confusion.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Margaret Court was not in London. It's lies like this that cause harm. The pic is of Martina &amp; Billie Jean King. <a href="https://t.co/zpu1cO4yal">https://t.co/zpu1cO4yal</a></p> — 💧Maggie Mae 🇦🇺🇦🇺Maggie300 #OzParler @Maggie30 (@MillyMolly300) <a href="https://twitter.com/MillyMolly300/status/1414017529509412864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 11, 2021</a></blockquote> </div> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

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Record-breaking sandcastle built in Denmark

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The world’s tallest sandcastle has been constructed in Denmark, standing more than 20 metres high and made up of nearly 5000 tonnes of sand, according to its designers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At 21.16 metres tall, the castle is over three metres taller than the previous holder of the title which was built in Germany in 2019, according to Guinness World Records.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using a total of 4860 tonnes of sand, the intricately decorated structure was designed by Wilfred Stijger and built with the assistance of 30 of the world’s best sand sculptors in the small seaside town of Blokhus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stijger said he wanted the structure to represent the power coronavirus has had over the world since the start of the pandemic, and topped the sandcastle with a model of the virus wearing a crown.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRACXXLjgCp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRACXXLjgCp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Wilfred Stijger (@stijgerart)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s ruling our lives everywhere,” Stijger said. “It tells you what to do … It tells you to stay away from your family and not go to nice places. Don’t do activities, stay home.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To stabilise the sandcastle against the chilly and windy conditions of the autumn and winter, the sand contains approximately 10 percent clay and a layer of glue that was applied after completion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Blokhus residents have enjoyed the local features incorporated into the sandcastle, such as beach houses and lighthouses, and depictions of windsurfing and kitesurfing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The castle is expected to stand until around early next year, until the onset of heavy frost.</span></p>

International Travel

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Dylan Alcott to defend his Wimbledon title

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dylan Alcott has advanced to the final round of the quad wheelchair singles at the All England Club after defeating long-time rival David Wagner 6-2, 6-2.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alcott has qualified for his 16th grand slam final and will have the chance to defend his Wimbledon singles title against Dutchman Sam Schroder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If he wins, Alcott will still have a chance of winning the ‘Golden Slam’ - where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year - after winning both the Australian Open and Roland Garros titles earlier this year.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Great start. Always an privilege to metaphorically step onto the grass at <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wimbledon</a> 🎾🇬🇧🍓🙏🏼 <a href="https://t.co/q556QWqAm6">pic.twitter.com/q556QWqAm6</a></p> — Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) <a href="https://twitter.com/DylanAlcott/status/1413240059604701185?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 8, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everyone loves talking about the Golden Slam more than I do,” Alcott told ITFTennis.com.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t know what it was until everyone started saying it to me the other day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had an opportunity to win the Grand Slam in 2019 and I thought about it and talked about it but choked it up hard.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If I win the Golden Slam, how good? If I don’t, the sun still comes up. I have a great family and I’m still out here at Wimbledon breathing in the grass and looking at everyone smashing Pimm’s. I’m a happy guy.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Dylan Alcott / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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‘Gate to Hell’ myths confirmed

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though Pamukkale, in western Turkey, is known for its travertines - limestone cliffs that have formed over 400,000 years from the mineral-laden water of nearby springs - an even more interesting attraction also calls the site home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On top of the white towers sits the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis.</span></p> <p><strong>An ancient city</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Founded by the Attalid kings of Pergamon at the end of the 2nd Century BC, Hierapolis was taken over by the Romans in 133 AD and turned into a thriving spa town.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The remains of the successful city are still visible, including its arched entrance gate, colonnaded main street and restored amphitheatre, all made from travertine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The thermal waters are likely one of the primary reasons for the city’s foundations,” said Dr Sarah Yeomans, an archeologist at the University of South Carolina who specialises in the Roman Empire.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“By the mid-2nd century, Hierapolis would have been a beautiful, bustling spa-town with what I imagine was a more dynamic and diverse population than most, given the popularity of such places with visitors.”</span></p> <p><strong>Truth behind the myths</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite its beauty, Hierapolis was said to be the location of a “Gate to Hell”, a portal to the underworld where unsuspecting victims would be claimed by the hellhound Cerberus’ toxic breath on behalf of his master, the god Pluto.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A shrine was built on the site and pilgrims would pay priests to make sacrifices to the god Pluto on their behalf.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Writers at the time said priests would lead animals into the shrine and it would instantly drop dead, while the priest would return alive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I threw in sparrows, and immediately breathed their last and fell,” wrote the Greek geographer Strabo in Book 13 of his encyclopedia </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Geography</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though visitors to the site today might find it hard to imagine these stories being true, one volcano biologist decided to test their validity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I read the descriptions from the ancient writers, I began wondering if there could be a scientific explanation,” said Hardy Pfanz, who studies gases given off during geological processes at Germany’s University of Duisburg-Essen. “I wondered, could this Gate to Hell be a volcanic vent?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To test his theory, Pfanz travelled to Hierapolis in 2013.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We weren’t sure what we would find. It could’ve been made up, could’ve been nothing,” he said. “We most certainly weren’t expecting to get an answer so quickly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We saw dozens of dead creatures around the entrance: mice, sparrows, blackbirds, many beetles, wasps and other insects. So we knew right away that the stories were true.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Pfanz tested the air around the vent, he found the culprit: toxic levels of carbon dioxide. Where normal air contains 0.04 percent carbon dioxide, Pfanz found the concentration around the shrine reached 80 percent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Just a few minutes exposure to 10 percent carbon dioxide can kill you,” he explained, “so the levels here are really deadly.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But Pfanz still had one question: if the area is so deadly, how did the priests in the shrine survive?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Returning a year later, he then studied the concentration of the gas over the course of the day, finding that it would quickly dissipate during the day when it was warm and sunny but would pool at ground level at night as the temperature decreased.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He came to the conclusion that the animals, with their noses close to the ground, quickly suffocated while the priests, standing taller, were breathing significantly lower levels of the gas and could survive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today, the shrine is bricked up and a walkway recently built around the site allows visitors to see the area without the risks of inhaling the deadly gas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I first recognised that the legendary breath of Cerberus is actually carbon dioxide, I was standing right in front of the archway,” Pfanz said. “In that moment, I realised we had solved this ancient mystery; it was a really fantastic feeling.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Paul Cooper / Twitter</span></em></p>

International Travel

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“That’s your opinion”: Novak Djokovic shuts down journalist

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Novak Djokovic has reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the tenth time before facing a journalist who asked him what it felt like to be the “bad guy” of the sport.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Djokovic defeated Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-4 6-4 and will face Canadian Denis Shapovalov on Friday for a spot in Sunday’s final.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If he secures his sixth title, Djokovic will join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in having won 20 major titles.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his post-match press conference, a journalist asked: “what has it been like to be something of the ‘bad guy’ chasing after Roger and Rafa all these years?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t consider myself a bad guy. I mean, that’s your opinion,” Djokovic replied.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not chasing anybody. I’m making my own path and my own journey, my own history. I’m privileged to be part of history of this sport I love.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As I said on the court, I know about a lot of stats. I don’t know about all of them. But they do motivate me even more to play my best tennis at the events that count the most in our sport.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The question was also criticised by other journalists, including tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg, who called it “one of [the] worst opening questions I’ve ever heard in a press conference”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There has to be a way - without compromising access - that this system is improved,” journalist and presenter Jon Wertheim tweeted in response to Rothenberg’s criticism.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is the problem. It poisons the atmosphere for everyone, including the majority of journalists who are professionals.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Djokovic became the third man to win all four majors more than once following his second French Open victory last month.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I love this sport with all my heart, body and soul and have been devoted to it since I was four,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sometimes things do look surreal for me but I try to live in the moment and take every opportunity I have on the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Going for history is a huge inspiration for me, let’s keep it going.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Novak Djokovic / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Phuket reopens to international visitors, with a catch

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Phuket, Thailand’s popular resort island, is allowing international travellers to enter without quarantining, as long as they’re vaccinated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On July 1, the first of four flights arriving that day touched down at Phuket International Airport with 25 passengers from Abu Dhabi. In total, about 400 vaccinated tourists arrived from Doha, Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi as part of Thailand’s new “Phuket Sandbox” program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an interview with CNN the day before, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the program was needed to restart the country’s economy, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In 2019, we had revenue from both domestic and international tourism at 3 trillion baht ($1.2 billion) but in 2020 it shrank to 800 billion baht,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phuket generated more than 470 billion of that revenue, thanks to the arrival of 10 million tourists.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The opening on July 1 has been viewed as mostly symbolic as a windfall of tourism numbers isn’t expected to follow.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, Phiphat estimates that about 100,000 international tourists will arrive on the island in the first three months following the reopening, which is expected to generate about 9 billion baht in revenue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beyond the island, Thailand has been battling its third wave of COVID-19, with the country reporting 57 deaths and 5,533 cases on the same day as the reopening, mostly in Bangkok.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Phiphat has said “Phuket is currently perfectly fit for travel” despite the current number of cases in Thailand.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you look at the nationwide infection number, we would say we are not ready. If you focus only on Phuket, where we have laid our groundwork for more than three months, I would say Phuket is 100 percent ready,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The decision to reopen Phuket was reliant on the vaccination of 70 percent of the island’s residents. According to Phuket’s public relations office, more than 80 percent of the population have received at least one dose, and about 65 percent have been fully vaccinated as of June 30.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phiphat said if the program is successful, officials will use Phuket as a blueprint to open nine other popular tourist destinations from October 1: Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Petchaburi, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thai, and Buriram.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For those who do wish to visit Phuket, they must meet a list of conditions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Travellers can only come from pre-approved countries or territories, must stay in an accredited hotel for 14 days before travelling anywhere else in the country, and must apply for a Certificate of Entry.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additionally, visitors need to have proof of an insurance policy covering treatment of COVID-19 up to the cost of $100,000, as well as a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and a certificate of vaccination against coronavirus with an approved vaccine administered at least two weeks before their travel date.</span></p>

International Travel

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The woman who lived in the Arctic circle

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many have been forced into isolation since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, others have sought out the solitude that can come from being alone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valentina Miozzo is one of those few, deciding to move to the Arctic Circle both during the pandemic and as the 24-hour polar nights were just about to begin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“December and January were two months of just darkness,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Traveling from the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna she usually calls home, Ms Miozzo made the decision after the pandemic turned her life upside down.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working as a nature and walking guide who accompanied Italians on trips abroad, she was just as affected by the pandemic as so many others in the travel and tourism industries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once Italy came out of a harsh lockdown and had the virus seemingly under control in the summer of 2020, she jumped on an opportunity sent to her via Instagram to run a guesthouse in the Arctic Circle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Was I scared? No, I saw it as a beautiful opportunity to visit places I would maybe have never chosen off my own bat,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Since I couldn’t do my travelling work anymore, this was a way to travel and to live another reality - in a more static way, of course, but in a part of the world I didn’t know and was fascinated by.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Two days later, she accepted the offer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Within a month, she was touching down in Kongsfjord, about 3,826km from her former home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Moving from Modena, with its population of 185,00 people, to Kongsfjord, with just 28 residents, was one the many differences Ms Miozzo contended with.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In winter, there were 120 km/h winds and ice everywhere, so it’s hard to get around,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t have any expectations - I purposefully didn’t create them as I was curious to discover.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But she did have some sort of an idea of what to expect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I knew I was going to a very, very isolated place - they’d wanted me. I knew it was extreme, and I knew it was in the arctic tundra, but I had never been to Norway.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNpa-J0hJTa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNpa-J0hJTa/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Valentina Miozzo (@viaggiarelibera)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Shortly after my arrival, the polar nights arrived.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was an incredible experience, living two months entirely in the dark. It wasn’t disturbing - in fact, it’s harder to live with the light.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Isolated and facing the extreme weather, Ms Miozzo learnt something extremely important during her stay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I went to hot countries, you take energy from outside, from others, from the climate, the atmosphere. You’re interacting with other people, and there’s the sun,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When you find yourself in a place like this, completely isolated, what you learn to do is to find energy in yourself. And it’s an amazing discovery - especially when there’s no light for two months and you need to wake yourself up.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Miozzo has found the Arctic Circle to be a place unlike anywhere else in the world.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The climate, light, the dark - it’s all different. Here, it’s real tundra. Trees don’t grow - it’s really a wild landscape. We have red and arctic foxes, and there are reindeer everywhere,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There are whales, dolphins, orcas, and lots of seabirds - it’s known for its birdwatching. And there are seals, which are lovely.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I haven’t lived in Norway. I’ve lived in the Arctic tundra.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Valentina Miozzo / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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"My English is not good": Roger Federer stumped by interview question

<p>Roger Federer has proved he is human after all.</p> <p>The Swiss athlete was involved in a hilarious moment during his on-court interview following his first-round clash with Adrian Mannarino at Wimbledon.</p> <p>Federer moved on to the second round after France's Mannarino was forced to retire from their match after slipping and injuring his knee with the match level at two sets all.</p> <p>In his post-match interview on centre court, the 39-year-old was left completely stumped by a question you would usually expect him to answer easily.</p> <p>“Roger, is it true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder, being back here?” the interviewer asked.</p> <p>“Sorry, I didn’t understand it,” Federer replied with a puzzled look on his face.</p> <p>“I heard something absence and then I don’t know my mind went blank.”</p> <p>The interviewer repeated the question: “Is it true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder and being back on centre court?”</p> <p>“I don’t understand that saying. My English is not good enough,” Federer laughed, clearly stumped by the old proverb.</p> <p>The interviewer pressed on, asking: “Basically, having missed out last year, having been away for two years, how special is it to be back here on centre court?”</p> <p>“Yes, there you go. A good reminder my English is not very good,” Federer said, much to the amusement of the packed crowd.</p> <p>The comedic exchange was a nice reminder that English is not Federer's first language.</p> <p>He is fluent in Swiss German, standard German, English and French. He can also speak functional Italian and Swedish.</p>

International Travel

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Climbing England’s deadliest peak

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though most consider hiking a popular pastime, it forms the core part of one of the strangest jobs in all of Britain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zac Poulton is a Fell Top Assessor in the Lake District National Park. Everyday of the past four winters, Poulton has hiked up Helvellyn, England’s third highest and most dangerous mountain, to report the weather and write a colourful account that can be used, understood, and acted on by the public so they can climb safely.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Poulton isn’t the only one with the odd title. Colleagues Jon Bennett - who has submitted Helvellyn more than 600 times - and Wes Hunter - who started the job just before the coronavirus pandemic in October 2019 - also take on the climb.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each day from early December through til late April, at least one of the trio must reach the 950m summit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There has been a Fell Top Assessor making the hike since the first role was first introduced in 1987, and Poulton, Bennett, and Hunter have spent 126 consecutive days reaching the top in all manner of weather this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the potential for blasting winds and summit temperatures of -7C, Poulton said: “Some days are better than others.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though Helvellyn is more commonly hiked during summer, it looks its best in the colder months. With three deep glacial coves, two incisor-shaped ridges, and alpine plants that don’t grow anywhere else in the country, it’s a sight to see.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helvellyn also poses many of the similar dangers its more famous counterparts in the Alps, Andes or Himalayas do too, according to Poulton.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People get lost. Break bones. Get caught in avalanches. You won’t slide as far as you would on Everest here, but you’ll still bump off rocks and the result will be the same,” he said. “I meet lots of people with good intentions, but they don’t often recognise the risks.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once they’ve reached the peak, the assessor produces a report with as much detail as possible, which will be published daily on the official Lake District Weather Line website and to 19,000 social media followers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alongside meteorological notes, the reports often provide potential climbers with tips on how to best approach the mountain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What you can’t get from a weather station forecast is the experience of the mountaineer,” Poulton said. “A fully-automated system misses the human perspective. And our photos, tweets and descriptions create a 360-degree picture. We tell the wider story of life on the mountain.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their presence on the mountain also means they can help out when things go wrong.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’ve prevented hundreds of mountain rescues,” said Poulton.</span></p> <p><strong>Bridging a knowledge gap</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And, with more people attempting the mountain following pandemic-induced lockdowns, the knowledge held by the Fell Top Assessors is more crucial than ever.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We know how important the Lake District is going to be in the coming months to help with people’s health and wellbeing,” said Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority. “Our message is whether coming for the first or 50th time, is plan ahead; try to discover something that’s new to you; and enjoy your time here, but please leave no trace.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Fell Top Assessors</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Germans turn to the woods for mindfulness

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of all the German words without a direct English equivalent, one has seen a resurgence during the coronavirus epidemic. </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Waldeinsamkeit</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - which translates to “solitude of the forest” according to Google Translate - can be best described as the sublime feeling that can come from being completely alone and at peace in the forest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With more free time, flexibility, and pressure at home - without many other options to occupy free time - Germans are visiting forests to find that kind of solitude in greater numbers than before.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recent research by the European Forest Institute has confirmed it, finding that visits to a monitored tract of woods in North-Rhine-Westphalia experienced an unprecedented jump in visitors during the first and second lockdowns. The authors concluded that forests were a critical infrastructure for national public health and society at large, with the German people once again seeking forest solitude during the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In our recent study, visitors said finding tranquility was by far the number one motivation to go to the forest,” European Forest Institute researcher Jeanne-Lazya Roux said. “Another new study we are working on shows there is a renaissance in valuing forests for their spiritual attributes, or re-spiritualisation of the forest, as we call it.”</span></p> <p><strong>A resurgence</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Nikolaus Wegmann, a Germanist and literary historian at Princeton University, told the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> waldeinsamkeit is seeing revalidation as people absorb the philosophy of the word in their post-pandemic lives.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On one level, waldeinsamkeit is a simple compound of the word ‘forest’ (</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">wald</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">) and ‘loneliness’ (</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">einsamkeit</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">), but on another it represents the soul and deeper psyche of Germany,” said Wegmann. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Nowadays, the term is taking on a new meaning because of coronavirus: the isolation and loneliness of the forest, in contrast to the world of the city, is increasingly attractive.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With 90 billion trees, 76 tree species and about 1,215 species of plants within Germany’s forest, which cover 33 percent of the country’s land area, it’s not hard to see where the attraction comes from.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The concept of going into the woods is part of everyday life for us Germans,” Wegmann said. “Even though we’re one of the most industrialised nations in the world, you don’t need to go looking for a forest here. We are forest people, even as far back as the Roman empire when the Romans described us as such.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over time, the term has come to represent Germany’s culture too, with many throughout history citing the practice as a cure for stress.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Waldeinsamkeit is a visible strain throughout German culture and history and the term might have fallen out of favour, but it continues to convey a very romantic notion of the country,” said Austen Hinkley, a doctoral candidate at Princeton’s Department of Comparative Literature.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The claim the term is untranslatable and indescribable to non-Germans is also important. It can only really be explained by first-hand experience - total immersion in the German landscape.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: dinner / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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New exhibit to commemorate Prince Philip

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new exhibition at Windsor Castle will commemorate Prince Philip’s life and legacy and will include many items that have been gifted to him during his official duties and visits overseas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The exhibit, titled ‘Prince Philip: A Celebration’, opens on Thursday, June 24 and features more than 100 items from his life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After seven decades of involvement in the royal family, Philip passed away on April 9 aged 99.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The exhibition formed part of the 100th birthday celebrations planned for Philip, who would have turned 100 on June 10, curator Sally Goodsir told Reuters.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But following his death in April, we have delayed its opening just by a couple of weeks and are still holding it,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goodsir said Philip had been aware of both the exhibition and its contents.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The highlights of the display include the coronation robes and coronet Prince Philip wore to the Queen’s coronation in 1953, as well as his chair of estate which normally stands next to the Queen’s at Buckingham Palace - and will be on display at Windsor Castle for the first time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The items range from personal mementos - including Queen Victoria’s journal recording the birth of Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, in 1885 - to more eccentric objects - such as a human-sized grasshopper wine cooler the former French President Georges Pompidou presented while visiting the UK in 1972.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other items on display include: photographs of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in a Faberge frame that was a wedding gift; a chess set gifted from Nelson Mandela during his UK visit in 1996; and a pair of cowboy boots inscribed with the words ‘Prince’ and ‘Philip’ in gold, which the prince received during his 1991 visit to Houston, Texas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The remains of Windsor Castle’s St George’s Hall clock and a fragment of a burnt beam - salvaged by Philip following a fire that swept through the castle in 1992 - will also be on display.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think without people being able to gather for the funeral, as they might ordinarily have done, I hope they might be able to come to the castle and learn a little bit more about him,” Goodsir said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The public will be able to see the exhibition until September 20.</span></p>

International Travel

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The mountain no one can climb

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For a country where mountain tourism has thrived, there is one mountain in Nepal where climbing is forbidden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Machhapuchhre - meaning “fishtail” - stands at 6,993m in the Annapurna range in central Nepal that is home to three of the world’s 10 highest mountains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though it doesn’t stand as tall as other mountains, it stands out as a lone peak and appears much taller than it actually is.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Machhapuchhare also has a double summit, which is joined by a sharp ridge, and towers over the Phewa Lake.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The closest curious tourists can get to the peak is the summit of Mardi Himal, a smaller mountain beneath Machhapuchhare.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The reason behind it’s prohibited climbing status: Lieutenant Colonel James Owen Merion Roberts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jimmy Roberts, as he was popularly known, was a British Army officer and the first military attach</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">é to Nepal. He made significant contributions to Nepal’s economy and local livelihoods after helping open up the country’s remote mountains for commercial mountaineering and trekking.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roberts has since been remembered as the “father of trekking” in Nepal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His fascination with Machhapuchhare began after he read a dispatch from another army officer, and he would eventually become the first and only person to attempt to reach the summit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, his expedition party, reduced to just two people by the end, abandoned the ascent just 45m below the summit due to bad weather.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Following the failed climb, Roberts requested the Nepal government restrict the peak and ensure Machhapuchhare would never be climbed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They obliged.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roberts’ fascination with the mountain and his kinship with Gurungs, who hold Machhapuchhare sacred, and with the people of Chomrong, the last Gurung village before the mountain, may have been the motivation behind his odd request.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the reason remains a mystery and Roberts’ association with the peak’s prohibited status has been largely forgotten, the prevailing view now is that the mountain is sacred and therefore forbidden to climb.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Machhapuchhare’s summit is not meant to be stepped upon; it is only to be adored by the eyes,” said Tirtha Shrestha, a poet and long-time resident of nearby Pokhara.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Any discourse, not just on Pokhara, but about the beauty of the entire Himalayas, would be incomplete without mentioning Machhapuchhare. Its beauty has greatly moved poets, authors and artists. In many folk songs, the mountain has been showered with praises. Machhapuchhare, for us, is the epitome of beauty,” he said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: MountainKick / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Amazing find in tapas bar stuns archaeologists

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the coronavirus halting businesses around the world, the owners of the </span><a href="http://www.cerveceriagiralda.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cervercería Giralda</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> tapas bar in Seville, Spain decided to use the time for much-needed renovations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, as the renovations of the 89-year-old eatery started, workers made an astonishing find.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beneath the plaster that covered the ceiling they found a skylight in the form of an eight-pointed star belonging to a 12th century Islamic hammam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As soon as we saw one of the skylights, we knew what it was; it just couldn’t have been anything but a bath,” said archaeologist </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Álvaro Jiméz. “We just had to follow the pattern of the skylights.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The former bathhouse was also found with elaborate red ochre paintings of geometric motifs on the walls, representing the night sky, which dates back to when the city was ruled by the Almohad caliphate, a Berber Empire that once controlled much of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Decoratively speaking, these baths have the largest amount of preserved decoration of any of the known baths on the Iberian peninsula,” the archaeologist said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Absolutely everything here is decorated, and, luckily, it’s survived. The background is white lime mortar engraved with geometric lines, circles and squares. On top of that you have red ochre paintings of eight-pointed stars and eight-petalled multifoil rosettes. Those two designs alternate and entwine and adapt to the different geometric shapes of the skylight holes.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Historians believe this bathhouse, as well as several others found around the city’s central mosque known as the Royal Alcázar palace, was used by devotees to cleanse themselves before going to the mosque to pray. They also believe the bathhouses were likely used as meeting places for people to socialise, talk business, or relax.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The tapas bar has since reopened and the bathhouse can still be seen.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cervercería Giralda / Instagram</span></em></p>

International Travel

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Prince Charles is "immensely sensitive" and ignoring Prince Harry

<p>Princess Diana's former voice coach, Stewart Pearce, has claimed the reason Prince Charles has had a hard time with Prince Harry's parenting criticisms is that Prince Charles is "immensely sensitive".</p> <p>Pearce revealed to US Weekly that the future king of England is a "very very shy man".</p> <p>“Prince Charles is a very, very shy man, a very sensitive and delicate man, but we see his public personality, but in private, he’s immensely sensitive,” he said.</p> <p>“When we’re sensitive, if we’re dealing with very strong, combustible emotion on the outside of us,” people tend to go into fight or flight.</p> <p>For example, when Princess Diana accused him of having an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, “what he did was to shrink back and as a result of that became aloof,” Pearce explained. “Well, that doesn’t heal the challenge that’s taking place.”</p> <p>Pearce said that when reports broke about Prince Harry and Meghan being "troubled" by the 'lapse of contact", Pearce wasn't surprised as "that's what Charles does".</p> <p>“He can’t deal with it because of his sensitivity, so he hides. And what Harry’s trying to do is to heal that. Not out of umbrage, not out of anger or revenge or criticism or accusation…I felt that he was just somebody saying, ‘This is the way that it is, and this is why we want to make change.’”</p> <p>The comments that Pearce is referring to were made by Prince Harry on his Apple TV+ series with Oprah The Me You Can't See.</p> <p>“My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to [Prince] William and I, ‘Well, it was like that for me, so it’s gonna be like that for you.’" he said.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bL_xMgwoL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bL_xMgwoL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Clarence House (@clarencehouse)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered, it doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite. If you suffered, do everything you can to make sure that whatever experiences, negative experiences that you had, you can make it right for your kids.”</p> <p>The conversation was said to leave Prince Charles "quite devastated" according to an insider who told <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/05/all-charles-has-wanted-is-for-harry-to-be-happy-can-this-father-son-relationship-ever-heal"><em>Vanity Fair.</em></a></p> <p>“He is such a gentle man and a dedicated father first and foremost. Knowing him, he’ll be feeling wretched and will take no joy or happiness in what’s going on within the family. But he will also want to seek a reconciliation. He is not vindictive at all, and he wants to make peace with Harry.”</p>

International Travel

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Panicked sea lions almost sink fishing boat

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A fishing crew in southern Chile had a surprising catch, after dozens of sea lions tried to board their boat en masse to escape a pack of hunting killer whales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fisherman Antonio Zapata said he had never experienced anything like it in his four decades at sea, despite the fact that encountering hunting orcas was a relatively common experience.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the crew were sympathetic to the plight of the sea lions, they feared the boat would be damaged or sink even lower into the water under the combined weight of the animals and a full haul of sardines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They were trying to climb on board and we had to spread ourselves around the vessel to try to get them off with sticks because the ones that were getting on were making us sink,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was a dangerous situation because we couldn’t get the sea lions to go away or make the killer whales leave either.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Footage captured on a mobile phone showed the water around the boat filled with thrashing sea lions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the 10-man crew could be heard joking in the video, Mr Zapata said they were also genuinely worried they could end up in the water too.</span></p> <p><iframe width="600" height="338" src="https://rudo.video/vod/bLSQN9/skin/simple/o/MjAyMS8wNi9sb2Jvcy1tYXJpbm9zLTc1MHg0MDAuanBlZw==" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="autoplay; fullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There were so many sea lions around the hull that we couldn’t move much - every time we did they got caught up in the propellers and I was worried they could break them altogether,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The crew attempted to approach a nearby island so the sea lions could take refuge there instead, but the whales blocked them from nearing the shore.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the whales finally drifted away, the sea lions were able to swim for cover as the boat neared the Talcahuano port.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Some of the sea lions came with us into port. We couldn’t get rid of them,” Mr Zapata said.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: ABC news</span></em></p>

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