Category Archives: Europe

Europe

Provence, France

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Marseille

Provence, France

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Provence is a region of southeastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The traditional region of Provence comprises the départements of Var, Vaucluse, and Bouches-du-Rhône and parts of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes. The Romans, who conquered it in the 2nd Century B.C., called it Provincia Nostra (“our province”) or simply Provincia (“the province”), and the name in French thus became Provence.

Language and literature

Historically the language spoken in Provence was Provençal, a dialect of the Occitan language, also known as langue d’oc, and closely related to Catalan. There are several regional variations: vivaro-alpin, spoken in the Alps; and the provençal variations of south, including the maritime, the rhoadanien (in the Rhone Valley) and the niçois (in Nice). Niçois is the archaic form of provençal closest to the original language of the troubadors, and is sometimes to said to be literary language of its own.

Provençal was widely spoken in Provence until the beginning of the 20th century, when the French government launched an intensive and largely successful effort to replace regional languages with French. Today Provençal is taught in schools and universities in the region, but is spoken regularly by a small number of people, probably less than five hundred thousand, mostly elderly.

Parks and Gardens in Provence

Cuisine

The cuisine of Provence is the result of the warm, dry Mediterranean climate; the rugged landscape, good for grazing sheep and goats but, outside of the Rhone Valley, with poor soil for large-scale agriculture; and the abundant seafood on the coast. The basic ingredients are olives and olive oil; garlic; sardines, rockfish, sea urchins and octopus; lamb and goat; chickpeas; local fruits, such as grapes, peaches, apricots, strawberries, cherries, and the famous melons of Cavaillon.

The fish frequently found on menus in Provence are the rouget, a small red fish usually eaten grilled, and the loup, (known elsewhere in France as the bar), often grilled with fennel over the wood of grapevines (fr. sarments de vigne).

  • Bouillabaisse is the classic seafood dish of Marseille. The traditional version is made with three fish: rascasse (eng: scorpionfish), grondin (eng: sea robin), and congre (eng: European conger), plus an assortment of other fish and shellfish, such as saint-pierre (eng: John Dory); lotte (eng: monkfish); ursins (eng: sea urchins); crabs and sea spiders included for flavor. The seasoning is as important as the fish, including salt, pepper, onion, tomato, safron, fennel, sage, thyme, laurel, sometimes orange peel, and a cup of white wine or cognac. In Marseille the fish and the broth are served separately- the broth is served over thick slices of bread with rouille (see below.)
  • Escabeche is another popular seafood dish; the fish (usually sardines) are either poached or fried after being marinated overnight in vinegar or citrus juice.
  • An oursinade is the name of a sauce based on the coal of the sea urchin, and usually is used with fish, and also refers to a tasting of sea urchins.
  • Brandade de Morue is a thick cream made of cod crushed and mixed with olive oil, milk, garlic and sometimes truffles.
  • Rouille is a mayonnaise with red pimentos, often spread onto bread and added to fish soups.
  • Ratatouille is a traditional dish of stewed vegetables, which originated in Nice.
  • Aïoli is a thick mayonnaise made from olive oil flavored with crushed garlic. It often accompanies a bourride, a fish soup, or is served with potatoes and cod (fr. Morue). There are as many recipes as there are families in Provence.
  • Soupe au pistou, either cold or hot, usually made with fresh basil ground and mixed with olive oil, along with summer vegetables, such as white beans, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, and potatoes.
  • Tapenade is a relish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil, usually spread onto bread and served as an hors d’œuvre.
  • Daube provençale is a stew made with cubed beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de provence. Variations also call for olives, prunes, and flavoring with duck fat, vinegar, brandy, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries, or orange peel. For best flavor, it is cooked in several stages, and cooled for a day between each stage to allow the flavors to meld together. In the Camargue area of France, bulls killed in the bullfighting festivals are sometimes used for daube.
  • Fougasse is the traditional bread of Provence, round and flat with holes cut out by the baker. Modern versions are baked with olives or nuts inside.
  • Socca is a speciality of Nice- it is a round flat cake made of chickpea flour and olive oil, like the Italian farinata. It is baked in the oven in a large pan more than a meter in diameter, then seasoned with pepper and eaten with the fingers while hot. In Toulon socca is known as La Cade.
  • La pissaladière is another speciality of Nice. Though it resembles a pizza, it is made with bread dough and the traditional variety never has a tomato topping. It is usually sold in bakeries, and is topped with a bed of onions, lightly browned, and a kind of paste, called pissalat, made from sardines and anchovies, and the small black olives of Nice, called caillettes.[25]
  • The calisson is the traditional cookie of Aix-en-Provence, made from a base of almond paste flavored with confit of melon and orange. They have been made in Aix-en-Provence since the 17th century.
  • The tarte Tropezienne is a tart of pastry cream (crème pâtissière) invented by a St. Tropez pastry chef named Alexandre Micka in the 1950s, based on a recipe he brought from his native Poland. In 1955, he was chef on the set of the film And God Created Women when actress Brigitte Bardot suggested he name the cake La Tropezienne. It is now found in bakeries throughout the Var.
  • The gâteau des Rois is a type of Epiphany cake found all over France; the Provençal version is different because it is made of brioche in a ring, flavored with the essence of orange flowers and covered with sugar and fruit confit.
  • The Thirteen desserts is a Christmas tradition in Provence, when thirteen different dishes, representing Jesus and the twelve apostles, and each with a different significance, are served after the large Christmas meal.
  • Herbes de Provence (or Provençal herbs) are a mixture of dried herbs from Provence which are commonly used in Provençal cooking.

Extent and geography

The original Roman province was called Gallia Transalpina, then Gallia Narbonensis, or simply Provincia Nostra (‘Our Province’) or Provincia. It extended from the Alps to the Pyrenees and north to the Vaucluse, with its capital in Narbo Martius (present-day Narbonne.)

In the 15th century the Conté of Provence was bounded by the Var River on the east, the Rhône River to the west, with the Mediterranean to the south, and a northern border that roughly followed the Durance River.

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Istanbul, Turkey – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Istanbul, Turkey – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul), historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople (see names of Istanbul) is the largest city in Turkey and fifth largest city proper in the world with a population of 12.6 million. Istanbul is also a megacity, as well as the cultural and financial centre of Turkey. The city covers 39 districts of the Istanbul province.

It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.

In its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Location

Istanbul is located in the north-west Marmara Region of Turkey. It encloses the southern Bosphorus which places the city on two continents—the western portion of Istanbul is in Europe, while the eastern portion is in Asia. The city boundaries cover a surface area of 1,830.92 square kilometres (707 sq mi), while the metropolitan region, or the Province of Istanbul, covers 6,220 square kilometres (2,402 sq mi).

Geology

Istanbul is situated near the North Anatolian fault line, which runs from northern Anatolia to the Marmara Sea. Two tectonic plates, the African and the Eurasian, push against each other here. This fault line has been responsible for several deadly earthquakes in the region throughout history. In 1509 a catastrophic earthquake caused a tsunami which broke over the sea-walls of the city, destroying over 100 mosques and killing 10,000 people.

In 1766 the Eyüp Sultan Mosque was largely destroyed. The 1894 earthquake caused the collapse of many parts of the Grand Bazaar. A devastating earthquake on August 17, 1999, with its epicenter in nearby İzmit, left 18,000 dead and many more homeless. In all of these earthquakes, the devastating effects are a result of the building density and poor construction of buildings. Seismologists predict another earthquake, possibly measuring magnitude 7.0, occurring before 2025.

Religion

The urban landscape of Istanbul is shaped by many communities. The religion with the largest community of followers is Islam. Religious minorities include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic Jews. According to the 2000 census, there were 2,691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 26 active synagogues in Istanbul; as well as 109 Muslim cemeteries and 57 non-Muslim cemeteries. Some districts have sizeable populations of these ethnic groups, such as the Kumkapı district which has a sizeable Armenian population, the Balat district which has a sizeable Jewish population, the Fener district which has a sizeable Greek population, and some neighbourhoods in the Nişantaşı and Beyoğlu districts which have sizeable Levantine populations. In some quarters, such as Kuzguncuk, an Armenian church sits next to a synagogue, and on the other side of the road a Greek Orthodox church is found beside a mosque.

The seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church and first patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox communion, is located in the Fener (Phanar) district. Also based in Istanbul are the archbishop of the Turkish-Orthodox community, an Armenian archbishop, and the Turkish Grand-Rabbi. A number of places reflect past movements of different communities into Istanbul, most notably Arnavutköy (Albanian village), Polonezköy (Polish village) and Yenibosna (New Bosnia).

Shopping

Istanbul has numerous historic shopping centers, such as the Grand Bazaar (1461), Mahmutpaşa Bazaar (1462) and the Egyptian Bazaar (1660). The first modern shopping mall was Galleria Ataköy (1987), which was followed by dozens of others in the later decades, such as Akmerkez (1993) which is the only mall to win both “Europe’s Best” and “World’s Best” awards by the ICSC; Metrocity (2003); Cevahir Mall (2005) which is the largest mall in Europe; and Kanyon Mall (2006) which won the 2006 Cityscape Architectural Review Award for its interesting design. İstinye Park (2007) and City’s Nişantaşı (2008) are two new malls which target high-end consumers and are almost exclusively dedicated to world-famous fashion brands.

Restaurants

Along with the traditional Turkish restaurants, many European and Far Eastern restaurants and numerous other cuisines are also thriving in the city. Most of the city’s historic winehouses (meyhane in Turkish) and pubs are located in the areas around İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu.

The 19th century Çiçek Pasajı (literally Flower Passage in Turkish, or Cité de Péra in French) on İstiklal Avenue, which has many historic meyhanes, pubs and restaurants, was built by Hristaki Zoğrafos Efendi at the former site of the Naum Theatre and was inaugurated in 1876. The famous Nevizâde Street, which has rows of historic meyhanes next to each other, is also in this area.

Other historic pubs are found in the areas around Tünel Pasajı and the nearby Asmalımescit Sokağı. Some historic neighbourhoods around İstiklal Avenue have recently been recreated, with differing levels of success; such as Cezayir Sokağı near Galatasaray Lisesi, which became unofficially known as La Rue Française[104] and has rows of francophone pubs, cafés and restaurants playing live music.

Istanbul is also famous for its historic seafood restaurants. The most popular seafood restaurants are generally found along the shores of the Bosphorus and by the Marmara Sea shore towards the south of the city. The largest of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara (namely Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada) and Anadolu Kavağı near the northern entrance of the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea (close to Yoros Castle, which was also known as the Genoese Castle due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century) also have many historic seafood restaurants.

Night life

There are many night clubs, pubs, restaurants and taverns with live music in the city. The night clubs, restaurants and bars increase in number and move to open air spaces in the summer. The areas around Istiklal Avenue and Nişantaşı offer all sorts of cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs as well as art galleries, theaters and cinemas. Babylon and Nu Pera in Beyoğlu are popular night clubs both in the summer and in the winter.

The most popular open air summer time seaside night clubs are found on the Bosporus, such as Sortie, Reina and Anjelique[113] in the Ortaköy district. Q Jazz Bar in Ortaköy offers live jazz music in a stylish environment.

Venues such as Istanbul Arena in Maslak and Kuruçeşme Arena on the Bosporus frequently host the live concerts of famous singers and bands from all corners of the world. Parkorman in Maslak hosted the Isle of MTV Party in 2002 and is a popular venue for live concerts and rave parties in the summer.


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Ulan Ude,Russian Food Tour with Michael Kohn – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Ulan Ude,Russian Food Tour with Michael Kohn – Lonely Planet Travel Video

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Ulan-Ude is the capital city of the Buryat Republic, Russia, is located about 100 km south-east of Lake Baikal on the Uda River at its confluence with the Selenga. According to the 2002 Census, 359,391 residents lived in Ulan-Ude, up from 351,806 recorded in 1989 and it is the third largest city in eastern Siberia.

History

The first occupants of the area where Ulan-Ude now stands were the Evenks and, later, the Buryat Mongols. Ulan-Ude (old name Verkhneudinsk) was founded in 1666 by the Russian Cossacks as fortress Udinskoye. Due to its favourable geographical position, the city grew rapidly and became a large trade centre which connected Russia with China and Mongolia and, from 1690, was the administrative center of the Transbaikal region.

In 1775, the city, now Udinsk, was chartered as a city and in 1783 was renamed Verkhneudinsk. After a large fire in 1878, the city was almost completely rebuilt. The Trans-Siberian Railway reached the city in 1900 causing an explosion in growth. The population which was 3500 in 1880 reached 126,000 in 1939. On 27 July 1934, the city was renamed Ulan-Ude.

Geography and climate

Ulan-Ude lies 5,640 kilometers (3,500 mi) east of Moscow and 100 kilometers (60 mi) south-east of Lake Baikal. It is located 600 meters (1,970 ft) above mean sea level at the foot of the Khamar-Daban and Khrebet Ulan-Burgasy mountain ranges, next to the confluence of the Selenga River and its tributary, the Uda which divides the city into two parts.

Ulan Ude has a moderate subarctic climate with mean temperatures of +1.1 °C (34 °F). The hottest month, July, has a mean temperature of +18.8 °C (65.8 °F) and the coldest, January, is −23.8 °C (−10.8 °F). Ulan-Ude receives an average 251 millimeters (9.9 in) of precipitation per year, mostly in the summer.

Transport

Ulan Ude is located on the main line (Trans-Siberian line) of the Trans-Siberian Railway between Irkutsk and Chita at the junction of the Trans-Mongolian line (the Trans-Mongolian Railway) which begins at Ulan Ude and continues south through Mongolia to Beijing in China.

The city also lies on the M55 section of the Baikal Highway (part of the Trans-Siberian Highway), the main federal road to Vladivostok. Air traffic is served by the Ulan-Ude Airport (Mukhino), as well as the smaller Ulan-Ude Vostochny Airport. Intracity transport includes tram, bus, and marshrutka (share taxi) lines.

Culture

Until 1991 Ulan-Ude was a city closed to foreigners. There are old merchants’ mansions richly decorated with wood and stone carving in the historical center of Ulan-Ude, along the river banks which are exceptional examples of Russian classicism. The city has a large ethnographic museum which recalls the history of the peoples of the region. There is also a large and highly unusual statue of the head of Lenin in the central square, the largest in the world.

Ulan-Ude — the old historic and cultural center in Siberia. Among other things can be noted such as a monument Geser, Arch «King’s Gate» and many other interesting places.

Sister cities

  • Flag of South Korea Anyang, South Korea.
  • Flag of the United States Berkeley, California, United States.
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China Changchun, China.
  • Flag of Mongolia Darkhan, Mongolia.
  • Flag of Mongolia Erdenet, Mongolia.
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China Hohhot, China.
  • Flag of Russia Kazan, Russia.
  • Flag of the People's Republic of China Manchuria, China.
  • Flag of Germany Mannheim, Germany.
  • Flag of Japan Rumoi, Japan.
  • Flag of the Republic of China Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Flag of Mongolia Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
  • Flag of Ukraine Yalta, Ukraine.
  • Flag of Japan Yamagata, Japan.

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