Estonia - Tallinn

by Kimp 28. July 2013 02:52
Tallinn gets my vote for the strangest place I have ever been. It's got all kinds of crazy in it. A beautifully preserved medieval town with most of the walls still intact. There is even a Medieval pharmacy that is still in business, just in case you need some unicorn shavings for that special recipe. Old town Tallinn is surrounded on two sides by old defunct Russian factories. Heavy industry, that appeared to have had no pollution controls at all, while they were active. Then the side that borders the Baltic Sea, has an old defunct concert hall that was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics, which were in Moscow, but whose yachting events were held in Tallinn. Looks like it was beautiful 32 years ago, but was abandoned shortly after and has never been maintained.

Then there is a brand new part with high rise business towers and lots of auto traffic. From the right vantage point all of these can be seen in the same frame, giving Tallinn a very mysterious physic.

Estonia itself is equally as crazy. The northern coast is mostly limestone cliffs, there are some really rustic looking islands, and about 10% is a foggy quagmire that just plain looks down right spooky.
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Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Festival

by Kimp 13. July 2013 03:18
In the mid 60's an up and coming American Jazz producer named Quincy Jones started a label in Montreux and appointed Claude Knobs as the manager. Claude was also the director of the Tourism Office of Montreux. In 1967 Claude started the Montreux Jazz Festival at the Montreux Casino. immediately, it was a huge hit. In 1970 Calude decided to open it up to popular musician's who were outside of the Jazz idiom but who had made a difference in music and also new and upcoming musicians who have a lot of talent but deviate from the main stream. [More]

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Spain - Toledo

by Kimp 30. June 2013 02:23
Toledo sits on top of a hill and was the Medieval Capital of Spain. The hill is surrounded on three sides by the Tajo river. In early times it was Roman. When Rome fell, Spain separated from Rome, but was able maintain Roman culture. That period was called Visigothic. That ended in 711 when Moor's attacked from Africa and took control of Spain.



In 932 Toledo was captured by Abd-ar-Rahman III who enforced freedom of Religion. That's when Jewish people started immigrating there. For a time, Jewish, Christian and Muslim all lived and practiced their own religions in Toledo. The Jewish people stayed until after WWII, when they started migrating to the United States. [More]

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Spain - Madrid

by Kimp 21. June 2013 23:40


Madrid History:

Madrid wasn't always the capital of Spain. Toledo was. In the 9th century, the Muslims built a fortress at Madrid (which means three rivers), to protect Toledo from attack by the Christians. The Christians were able to conquer it in 1085 and in 1561 it became the Capital of Spain, mostly because Toledo is on the top of a hill and could not be expanded. In 1806 France and Spain were allies against the United Kingdom after the UK wiped out the Spanish Navy. Spain was unable to convince Portugal to take their side in the matter, so they invited French troops to enter their country to attack Portugal. The Spanish people were upset that French troops were allowed to enter and revolted against the king. Napoleon sized that opportunity to capture the Spanish kingdom for himself. However there was a large resistance to this amongst the Spanish population and eventually the resistance teamed up with Portugal and the UK to retake the throne in 1813. [More]

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Illinois - Chicago

by Kimp 6. June 2013 22:47
Chicago has an interesting history. It started from very humble beginnings. Illinois decided to build a canal to connect the Chicago river with the Mississippi and land speculator's started buying up lots of land, expecting Chicago to become a major transportation hub, which it did. First via river barge, then via railroad. Big job market brought in lots of immigrants and Chicago has grow exponentially every since. Lots of growth and immigration meant it was easy for organized crime to move in. From several stories, that I was told be locals. It appears that their are still struggles within the city. The most prevalent seemed to center around politicians ,who appear (to the layman), to often put unqualified people in important money controlling positions. [More]

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Missouri - Hannibal

by Kimp 4. June 2013 22:10
Hannibal Missouri is on the Mississippi river and was the boyhood home of Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain). Today, it's still very similar to they way it looked when he was living there. [More]

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Missouri - St Louis

by Kimp 3. June 2013 04:41
St Louis was already a good sized city before President Jefferson acquired it from the French, but now it has a huge and very close knit Italian sector that is so big, it's just called the hill. It's an awesome place to visit.

The blues made their way up the Mississippi from New Orleans into St. Louis. When they got there, they found a much more upbeat and cheerful sound. It's a blues twist to ragtime and usually has a really nice dance beat to it. Very popular in the 1930's with musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller. You can still hear it all over the city. [More]

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Missouri - Branson

by Kimp 1. June 2013 02:27
With all of the people vacationing and fishing in Branson, after Table Rock Damn was built. The Mabe brothers (Jim, Lyle, Bill & Bob) created a variety show called the BaldKnobbers (the name of an old Ozarks vigilante group), in a downtown Branson Theatre. Pictures I have seen of the old show, looked exactly like Hee-Haw in my opinion. In 1960 a nice outdoor Theatre named the Old Mill Theatre was built 10 miles away in the hills. They ran a very popular show based on a 1907 Novel "The Shepherd of the Hills", set in the Ozarks. Later this area came to be called "The Shepherd of the Hills". In 1962, Paul Henning was on a boy scout trip in Branson and came up with the idea for the Beverly Hill Billy's television series. In 1968 Lloyd and Bessie Mae Presley (No relation to Elvis) bought 40 acres on a deserted asphalt road half way between Branson and the Old Mill Theater, built a theater there and created "Presley's Country Jubliee". One year later the BaldKnobbers built a theatre out that way and moved their show to it. All of the above is still going strong. The Presley mansion compound is in a valley, just behind their theatre. [More]

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Iceland - Interior

by Kimp 25. May 2013 03:56
All of Iceland is an unforgiving landscape formed by volcanic activity. It sits on top of one of the hot spots in the mid-Atlantic ridge. The mid Atlantic ridge is where the North American and European continental plates meet-up. There are over 100 volcano's in Iceland and as the two continents move farther apart, one erupts about every 5 years. 5km (3 miles) below Iceland it's between 20% and 100% molten rock. [More]

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Iceland - Reykjavic

by Kimp 24. May 2013 05:11
Reykjavik means smoky bay. That's from all of the thermal activity in the area. The heating is very cheap, all they need to do is pump the water. In order to get cold water they need to cool it.

Icelandic people have the longest longevity of any culture. They are the only country in the world that has free public heath care and doesn't have a single private health care insurance company.

Reykjavik is full of artistic people driven by youthful energy. It's color is ever changing and part's of it are as exotic as the landscape. If you are easy going and care free at heart, it kind of fits like a glove. Coupled with friendliness, a very low crime rate, and long hours of sunlight make for a wonderful care free experience any time of day or night.

Iceland's nightlife culture, called the Runtur (means Round Tour) goes like this. Come home from work and rest up. Around 10 or 11 P.M., start drinking at home. Around 12:30 A.M. make an early hook-up at a local establishment. Meet some people, then about every thirty minutes, move down the street to the next place. Repeat, occasionally purchasing an expensive drink along the way. Most Icelanders nurse only two drinks the entire night. About 4:30 A.M. when the bands stop playing (lots of live bands with no cover), maybe think about starting to leave. Around 5:30 A.M. make your final hook-up for the night, go get something to eat at the pizza place or at one of the many food trucks that are lining the square, then head home. [More]

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