Archive for the ‘Year of Geo’ Category

Year of Geography: Austria

Posted on January 17th, 2012 by Laura Byrne Paquet

There is much more to Austria than The Sound of Music, lovely as it is. (Yes, I’m such a sap that I can pretty much recite all the dialogue from that movie with the sound off.) This is the country that gave us Mozart and sachertorte and the Vienna Boys’ Choir, after all. I did […]

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Year of Geography: It’s back!

Posted on January 13th, 2012 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Man, this year of geography seems awfully long. Wasn’t it supposed to end on December 31, 2011? Well, yes. What with one thing and another, I got off track last year. Part of it was that I was on the road quite a bit in 2011. And part of […]

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Year of Geography: Australia

Posted on July 31st, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

Australia, Australia, Australia, we love you, amen! Truer words were never spoken by Monty Python. After all, who doesn’t love Australia? Boundless sunshine, fun locals, oddball wildlife and a lexicon based on the principle that it’s a waste of breath to say lots of syllables when just two will do. (From a friend in Oz […]

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Year of Geography: Armenia

Posted on March 5th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

I’ll admit it: I have terrible trouble with the geography of Western Asia. In fact, to be utterly honest, I wasn’t even sure what to call the region: The Near East? The Middle East? Western Asia? Eastern Europe? (Research showed that the UN prefers “Western Asia,” and I figured the UN was as good a […]

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Year of Geography: Argentina

Posted on February 7th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Tango. Gauchos. Diego Maradona. The Falkland Islands. Madonna begging us not to cry. Sure, these are a few things I know about Argentina, but there’s so much more to learn. I already know that the capital is Buenos Aires (the photo above is from a visit to the touristy but fun Boca neighbourhood) and how […]

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Year of Geography: Antigua and Barbuda

Posted on January 29th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Antigua and Barbuda is the first country on the Year of Geography list I’ve actually visited. Granted, I was about 15 on my only trip of more than 24 hours; the other visits were quick stops on the way to and from Montserrat. But I did get to spend a very long night on one […]

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Year of Geography: Angola

Posted on January 17th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Did you know that Angola has its own version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Well, it does. Called Quem quer ser milionário, it began airing in 2009 on TV Zimbo, the country’s first private TV station, which opened the previous year. Contestants compete to win 3 million kwanzas (about US$34,400). Here’s the set. […]

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Year of Geography: Andorra

Posted on January 15th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

No, Andorra was not Darrin’s eccentric mother-in-law on Bewitched. (That was Endora, for all of you under 40.) Andorra is a tiny country wedged into the Pyrenees between France and Spain. How small? Check out the map. See that little green area just northwest of Barcelona? That’s Andorra. Its capital is Andorra la Vella, often […]

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Year of Geography: Algeria

Posted on January 13th, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

desert sands dunes Algeria

Unfortunately, Algeria is going through a bit of a rough patch this week, as riots have broken out to protest the soaring prices of food staples such as sugar. However, as I plan to do in the Year of Geography, I’m going to focus less on news and more on history and culture. And when […]

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Year of Geography: Albania

Posted on January 3rd, 2011 by Laura Byrne Paquet

Let’s start this quick peek into Albania with some background about this man on a horse. That’s Skanderbeg (or Scanderbeg, depending which reference you’re using), a 15th-century military hero. Born George Castriota (again, spellings vary) around 1404 in northern Albania, he was the son of a prince. For years, he was held hostage at the […]

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