Monthly Archives: August 2007

Great Places – European Russia & other States of the “Old” USSR

      The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was composed of many countries east of Europe. This great nation broke up in December 1991 into many individual, independent states. Many of these countries have begun to thrive since the break-up … Continue reading

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Great Places – China

      China has a seductive mystique. Most people in the world know little about Chinese history and culture, yet realize that China has been around for centuries. It is this mystery that enchants us and makes us want to visit and learn … Continue reading

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Great Places – Middle East

      The Middle East is the cradle of civilization whose roots go back as far as the Assyrians, in the Tigris-Euphrates valley over 5,000 years ago. Because this area has been inhabited for so long, the amount of history here … Continue reading

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Great Places – Ireland

      Ireland is the fun-loving country famous for St Patrick, Leprechauns, the Irish Jig, and River Dance. It is also an ancient Celtic country with roots that go back thousands of years. In America, it is famous because so many … Continue reading

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Great Places – Scandinavia

     Scandinavia includes the northern European countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, as well as the North Atlantic island of Iceland. The history of this area is intimately associated with fishing and other maritime pursuits, the Vikings being an excellent example. Ethnic characteristics … Continue reading

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Great Places – Benelux Countries

       Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg comprise the Benelux countries, small countries between northeastern France and western Germany. Over the years, they have been overrun numerous times during wars or disputes between the larger European powers. However, they have maintained their cultures in spite of … Continue reading

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Great Places – Croatia

      Croatia is a relative newcomer on the tourist scene of Europe, but it has exploded into popularity because of its well-preserved Medieval villages and great beaches. It is also, at this point, cheaper than Western Europe and, therefore, somewhat … Continue reading

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Great Places – New Zealand

       New Zealand is a pair of large islands east of Australia. The country is known for its dramatic scenery and for extreme sports. The North Island is noted for its thermal features and its indigenous population, the Maori. The south … Continue reading

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Great Places – Germany

     Germany is an interesting country. Although the people have a reputation for being cold, the country seems to welcome visitors, if not with open arms, with open facilities. The people here are also extremely efficient and pride themselves on doing … Continue reading

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Great Places – Spain

      Spain, unlike many European countries, has been blessed with an infusion of Moorish culture, since the Moors ruled here for many years. Thus, besides its Latin roots, there are significant elements of architecture and tradition injected from Northern Africa, only a … Continue reading

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