Brugge 2

Brugge

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact. The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady, whose brick spire reaches 122.3 m making it one of the world’s highest brick towers/buildings. The sculpture Madonna and Child is believed to be Michelangelo’s only sculpture to have left Italy within his lifetime.

Bruges also has a very fine collection of medieval and early modern art, including the world-famous collection of Flemish Primitives. Various masters, such as  Jan van Eyck, lived and worked in Bruges.

Text source: Wikipedia

Brugge

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

Brugge is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in theFlemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country and has a coast, at Zeebrugge. The historic city center is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. I have heard people calling Brugge as the “Venice of the North”, but my personal opinion is that Brugge is much more beautiful and more like a fairy tale town.  A trip with the boat on its canels, with the horse carriage through the city, chocolate houses and swans will make the holidays in Brugge unforgettable.

The Moon through my humble lens

image copyright © Ioana Negoita

image copyright © Ioana Negoita

Tonight I drove more then 30km out of the city to reach an empty open field. I found the perfect place with no houses, no cars, no lights at all, and no tall trees, where the moon was showing its beauty in full power. All I could hear was the buzzing of crickets and see the silhouettes of hills in far distance. I lay down in the grass and I stared into the sky. It feels amazing to look at the full moon shining brightly on the dark sky filled with stars everywhere I turned my eyes. The universe is amazing.

The Moon

TheMoon2

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

Over 100 moons populate our solar system, out of which, Neptune has 13, Saturn has 48, Jupiter has 62 and Earth has just one. Our Moon, named by the romans Luna, is remarkable in size: is the largest moon of our solar system in relation to its planet. It’s a quarter of the size of Earth.  To reach the moon, astronomers travel around 3 days. A single day on Moon is the equivalent of 27.3 Earth days. Luna has one side that is permanently towards our planet. Even though so close to Earth, Luna is a different world from our planet.

TheMoon3

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

The moon has no atmosphere at all, which means that there is no way to carry sound waves. If you would try to communicate on the Moon with a friend, the other person could not hear you, except by radio. This also means that there are no air molecules to scatter light from the sky, therefore, from the moon, the sky are always black.  The temperature differences are gigantic and tiny meteorites go right down on the surface of the Moon. Bigger meteorites are responsible for the dark regions we see on the surface of the Moon from Earth at night.

TheMoon10

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

One of the impacts is called Mare Orientale (the Eastern Sea). It’s 600 miles across. The impact that created it, must have been so massive and direct that resembles a bull’s eye. 3 concentric rings of mountain ranges surround the Mare Orientale. Some of the mountain picks rise up to a few thousand feet. These are the effects of the monster impact. The surface on the moon is static. It has no tectonic plates, however, there are mountains up there. The reason for this is that during the impact, large amount of material is thrown outside and surrounds the impact sights.

TheMoon6

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

The moon has a very real physical effect on the Earth itself: it is responsible for the rise and fall of our oceans’ tides. Every day, there are two high tides: one towards the moon, and one on the opposite side of the Earth, caused by the Earth’s centripetal force. Moon’s gravitation is also directly responsible for the continuous survival of terrestrial life, stabilizing the climate of Earth. It influences the degree of tilt in the Earth’s rotational axes constant. This tilt maintains the repeatable cycle of seasons as our planet orbits the Sun. The Moon is extremely important to us.

TheMoon9

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

How did the Moon come to orbit Earth? Throughout time, there have been several theories:

  1. The Fission Theory: Moon was once part of Earth and early in the history, somehow separated from our planet.
  2. The Condensation Theory: Moon and Earth condensed together from the original nebula that formed the Solar System.
  3. The Ejected Ring Theory:  A disk of material was formed and orbited around Earth, and this matter eventually condensed to form the Moon in orbit around the Earth.
  4. The Capture Theory:  The gravitational field of our planet captured the Moon, while it approached from somewhere else.

TheMoon8

Foto credit: The Universe TV Show season 1

All of the above theories, and others, had their down falls. In 1969, US astronauts brought lunar rocks and dusty soil (Regulus) on Earth.  Geologist realized that they have in their hands basaltic rocks, similar to rocks in Hawaii.  They also saw very chaotic rocks, which were created during massive impacts on the moon.  These rocks contained particles, which indicates that a big ocean of lava must have covered the Moon when it formed.  To date, the giant impact theory is the most acceptable theory, which explains the formation and the origin of the Moon. However, scientists continue studding our Moon.

Atatürk Bridge

Ataturk brdge

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

The Atatürk Bridge, named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, is a highway bridge on the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was originally completed in 1836 with the name Hayratiye Bridge and was ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II. The opening was personally made by the Sultan, who crossed the bridge on his horse. This original bridge was circa 400 meters long and 10 meters wide, and was built as a bascule bridge for allowing large ships to pass. In 1875 it was replaced by a second bridge, made of iron.

Text source: Wikipedia

Transfagarasan

Transfagarasan

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

The Transfăgărășan is the second-highest paved road in Romania, and it means the street that crosses the Fagarasi Mountains. Built as a strategic military route, the 90 km of twists and turns run north to south across the tallest sections of the SouthernCarpathians, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pitești. The road was constructed between 1970 and 1974, built mainly with military forces. It came as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.

Transfagarasan

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

The road climbs to 2,034 metres altitude. The most spectacular route is from the North. It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The Transfăgărășan is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. The road also provides access to Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall. It has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. Near the highest point, at Bâlea Lake, the road passes through Bâlea Tunnel. Among the attractions nearby is the Poienari fortress, castle of Vlad III the Impaler.

Text source: Wikipedia

A sunny summer afternoon in Parque de Retiro

Parque de Retiro

Image copyright © Ioana Negoita

Madrid’s largest green area, el Parque de Retiro, is a popular and a magnificent place to spend a sunny afternoon. Some people rent rowboats and paddle in the pond, others just enjoy a tasty ice-cream under the shade of the trees, others relax on benches and there are those who enjoy a great day and place for photography. But it was not always like this. In the 17th century only the royal family was using it privately. A century later, the park was opened to the public too, but in the beginning, only those dressed formally were allowed to enter it.

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