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Barcelona: Guell park - cityscape Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of over 4,200,000 on an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), it is the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Ruhr area, Madrid and Milan. About 5 million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast. The main part of a union of adjacent cities and municipalities named Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) with a population of 3,186,461 in an area of 636 km² (density 5.010 hab/km²). It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m/1,680 ft). Barcelona is recognised as a Global City due to its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education and tourism. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area); one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail, particularly that which will link France with Spain and later Portugal. Barcelona was the 12th-most-visited city in the world and 4th most visited in Europe after London, Paris and Rome. It is in addition the most popular tourist destination in Spain (receiving over 5 million tourists every year). Barcelona is the 15th most livable city in the World according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities globally. It is the 4th richest city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with an output amounting to €177 billion, a figure nonetheless smaller than alternative estimates. Consequently, its GDP per capita output stands at €35,975 - some 44% higher than the European Union average. Similarly, the city of Barcelona stands in 29th place in a list of net personal earnings headed by Zurich. The city is Europe's 3rd and one of the world's most successful as a city brand, both in terms of reputation and assets. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès comarca
California: sea world SeaWorld is a United States chain of marine mammal parks, oceanariums, and animal theme parks owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. The parks feature captive orca, sea lion, and dolphin shows and zoological displays featuring various other marine animals. There are operations in Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; and previously Aurora, Ohio. On March 5, 2007, SeaWorld Orlando announced addition of the Aquatica water park to its adventure park family, which already includes SeaWorld and Discovery Cove. On February 28, 2008, Busch Entertainment announced plans to open a fourth SeaWorld park in Dubai, UAE, but these plans have been shelved for now due to the international credit freeze. SeaWorld parks also feature a variety of thrill rides, including roller coasters like Kraken and Manta at SeaWorld Orlando and Steel Eel and The Great White at SeaWorld San Antonio. Journey to Atlantis, a combination roller coaster and splashdown ride, can be found at all three US parks. The parks were owned by Busch Entertainment Corp., the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch, which is best known for brewing beer. In November, 2009, Busch Entertainment was sold to the Blackstone Group and subsequently renamed SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Some of the Budweiser Clydesdales are also kept at each park as an additional non-marine-oriented attraction. One of the biggest attractions is the Shark Encounter, in which guests are carried through a submerged acrylic tube into the sharks' tank. Another famous ride is Wild Arctic, simulating a helicopter ride to the Arctic. After the ride, the guests arrive at a simulated base station, where they can observe polar bears, Pacific walruses, and beluga whales. During the Christmas holiday season, SeaWorld Orlando's Wild Arctic is transformed into the Polar Express Experience which offers the park's guests the opportunity to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole and meet Santa Claus in addition to the polar bears, Pacific walruses, and beluga whales that are at the Wild Arctic exhibit year round. Another attraction is the Penguin Encounter, showcasing a variety of penguins. In addition, an attraction features endangered Florida manatees. The park has an extensive playground for children, named Shamu’s Happy Harbor, formerly known as Cap'n Kids World. (Although SeaWorld San Diego has Sesame Street Bay of Play which showcases Sesame Street characters.) SeaWorld recently created the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Sea World is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning they have met and exceeded the standards in Education, Conservation and Research.[vague]
Two collie dogs replace the parents to the baby birds, who warm themselves on the dog's fur.
Corfu: Dassia - cityscape Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. Its northern part lies off the coast of Sarandë, Albania, from which it is separated by straits varying in breadth from 3 to 23 km (2 to 15 mi), including one near ancient Butrint, while its southern part lies off the coast of Thesprotia, Greece. The island is part of the Corfu Prefecture and includes twelve of the sixteen municipalities or communes in the prefecture and communities of Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi, and Municipality of Paxoi, which are all separate islands. The principal town (pop. 28,185) of the island is also named Corfu, or Kérkyra in Greek, as is its municipality (pop. 39,487). Corfu is home to the Ionian University. The island is connected to the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her. Poseidon brought Metope to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra (Doric). Together, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named: Phaiakes. This term was transliterated via Latin to Phaeacians.
Eurasian Spoonbill araund the nest
European Goldfinch: Carduelis carduelis
European Greenfinch: Carduelis chloris
Gran Canaria: Palmitos park - flamingos Aguimes is a Canarian municipality in the eastern portion of the island of Gran Canaria in the Las Palmas province in the Canary Islands. The population is 23,572 (ISTAC, 2003), its density is 297.33/km² and the area is 79.28 km². The elevation is 275 m. Agüimes is situated between the mountains and the plains. The mountains, including several valleys to the west dominate the west. The plains, along with a residential area that has more inhabitants than the downtown area and is the largest, lies to the east along with the Atlantic Ocean. Agüimes is located south of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Telde and is accessed with the GC1 superhighway. The main industries are agriculture, businesses and tourism. The major growth of the last few years has been the creation of a huge industrial estate on flat land once covered by tomato plantations. This has brought new jobs and industries into the area and has spurred the development of a new purpose built port which is due to open in 2007. The district was not at one time a major tourist destination, but after the careful restoration of the old town, this has become the best example of a traditional Canarian hill town. The streets of the old town exude a gentle, relaxed, timeless atmosphere, and the carefully positioned street statues and sculptures add a series of surprises to a visit to the old town. The local plan for 'rural tourism' has led to the development of other small visitor centres around the district, the biggest of which is in the Guayadeque Ravine. This area has many cave houses dating back hundreds of years, and a complete village dug into the hillside, still occupied today which has its own cave church, cave bar and cave restaurants. Sporting activities are also very important in the area, with its windsurfing and scuba diving recognized as 'world class'. One round of the annual PWA windsurfing tour is held at the international windsurfing center at Pozo Izquierdo every year, and the whole of the coast in this area can provide challenging conditions at any time of the year. The main area for scuba diving in Gran Canaria is in the area known as the 'El Cabrón' marine reserve, next to the town of Arinaga. The diving in this area includes caves, arches, walls and volcanic reefs, where an extremely wide range of sub-tropical marine species can be found, ranging from tiny seahorses up to rays and angel sharks.
Great Crested Grebe pairs around the nest
Kenyan coast: Mombassa - cityscape The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa, made up of 42 different ethnic tribes. Lying along the Indian Ocean to its southeast and at the equator, Kenya is bordered by Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south. Lake Victoria is to the southwest and is shared between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya has numerous wildlife reserves, containing thousands of animal . The capital city is Nairobi. Kenya's area is 580,000 km2 with a population of nearly 39 million which is diverse: more than 40 different ethnic groups are present. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa's highest mountain peaks.
Seal: the brutal massacre of animals
Seaside: Vaporous seashore with seagulls
South Africa, Boulder
The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa, with a 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) coastline on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. To the north lie Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; while Lesotho is an independent country wholly surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is known for a diversity in cultures and languages. Eleven official languages are recognised in the constitution. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch that is spoken by the majority of white and Coloured South Africans, and South African English. Though English has a large role in public and commercial life, it is nevertheless only the fifth most-spoken home language. South Africa is ethnically diverse. About 79.5% of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest European, Asian, and racially mixed communities in Africa. About a quarter of the population is unemployed and lives on less than US $1.25 a day. South Africa is a constitutional democracy in the form of a parliamentary republic; unlike most parliamentary republics the positions of head of state and head of government are merged in a parliamentarily dependent President. It is one of the founding members of the African Union, and has the largest economy of all the members. It is also a founding member of the United Nations and NEPAD. South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Antarctic Treaty System, Group of 77, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, Southern African Customs Union, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20 and G8+5.South Africa: Boulder - beach, penguins
South Africa, Kirstenbosch
South Africa: Kirstenbosch national botanical garden Kirstenbosch is the name of a famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. (It is on the eastern slopes of the mountain, not on the northern side normally depicted in the standard tourist snapshots). (Kirstenbosch should not be confused with the similarly named suburb of Kirstenhof which lies some 10 km to the south.) The garden is one of eight National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa's six different biomes. When Kirstenbosch, the most famous of the gardens, was founded in 1913 to preserve the country's unique flora, it was the first botanical garden in the world with this ethos. Furthermore, what makes the Gardens so famous worldwide is that (with minor exceptions) only indigenous plants are cultivated. The garden includes a large, indoor greenhouse exhibiting plants from a number of different regions, including savanna, fynbos, karoo and others. Outdoors, the focus moves to plants native to the Cape region, highlighted by the spectacular collections of proteas. Kirstenbosch enjoys great popularity with residents and visitors. From the gardens several trails lead off along and up the mountain slopes and these are much used by walkers and mountaineers. One of the trails, up a ravine called Skeleton Gorge, is an easy and popular route to the summit of Table Mountain. This route is also known as Smuts' Track after Prime Minister Jan Smuts who used this route regularly. On the slopes above the cultivated parts of the garden a contour path leads through forests to Constantia Nek to the south. The same contour path can be followed to the north for many kilometres and it will take the hiker past the Rhodes Memorial to the slopes of Devil's Peak and beyond.
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