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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Gurk Cathedral
Gurk Cathedral

Carinthia (German: Kärnten, Italian: Carinzia, Slovenian: Koroška) is the southernmost Austrian state or Land; it is chiefly famous for its mountains and lakes.

It covers an area of 9,536 km² with 559,404 inhabitants (2001).

It consists mostly of a basin inside the Alps, with the Carnian Alps and the Karawanken making up the border to Italy and Slovenia. The Tauern mountains divide it from Salzburg. To the East lies the state of Styria and it makes up a continuous valley with the eastern part of the Tyrol to the West. Its lakes are a major tourist attraction. The main river is the Drave.

The capital is Klagenfurt (Slovenian: Celovec). The next important town is Villach (Slovenian: Beljak); these two towns are strongly linked economically. Other towns and villages include Malta.

The people are predominantly German-speaking with a unique (and easily recognizable) dialect. A Slovenian minority of about 14,000 people (unofficial est. 40,000-50,000) is concentrated in the southeast of the country.

The current governor (German: Landeshauptmann) is Jörg Haider of the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ). Haider is a rather controversial figure because his politics tend to the far right. He has made a few statements of a xenophobic nature and some suggesting nostalgia for the Third Reich.

Carinthia's main industries are tourism, electronics, engineering, forestry and agriculture. The multinational corporations Philips and Siemens have large operations there.

Carinthia has a continental climate, with hot and moderately wet summers and long harsh winters. In recent decades winters have been exceptionally arid. Average sun index is the highest in Austria. In autumn and winter temperature inversion often dominates the climate, characterised by air stillness, a dense fog covering the frosty valleys and trapping pollution to form smog, while mild sunny weather is recorded higher up in the foothills and mountains.

Lindwurm Brunnen in the center of Klagenfurt.
Lindwurm Brunnen in the center of Klagenfurt.

Klagenfurt (Slovenian: Celovec), is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia (German Kärnten), in Austria, on the Glan river.

It has a population of just over 90,000. Around 1,700 Carinthian Slovenes, roughly one tenth of the total Slovenian minority in Carinthia, live in Klagenfurt.


Founded by the Count of Carinthia as a stronghold across the commercial routes in the area, it is mentioned for the first time in the late 12th century as Forum Chlagenvurth. That settlement occupied an area who was subject to frequent floods, so in 1246 duke Bernhard von Spanheim founded it again in a more secure position. It received city rights in 1252.

In the following centuries it suffered fires, earthquakes, grasshoppers invasions and ravages brought by the Peasants Wars. In 1514 a fire destroyed almost completely the city, and Emperor Maximilian I, unable to rebuild it, ceded it to the Regional Parliament. This brought a revival and an economical Renaissance for Klagenfurt, with, in particular, the construction of the Neuer Platz (new city centre) by the Italian architect Domenico de Lalio, and a new line of walls.

In 1809 the French troops under Napoleon destroyed the city walls, leaving only a small stretch now visible. In 1863 the railway connection boosted the city economy, turning it into the most important centre of the region.

Palace of the Regional Parliament.
Palace of the Regional Parliament.

Main sights

The Old City with its central Alter Platz (Old Square) is also worth seeing. Notable landmarks include

  • Wörthersee, the warmest European Alpine lake
  • the Lindwurm Brunnen (a lindworm fountain)
  • Hochosterwitz Castle, an impressively fortified castle on a high hill that can only be reached by an ascending spiral path which is fortified with a series of gates.
  • Papace of the Regional Parliament.
  • The Cathedral.


It is a popular vacation spot with mountains to both the south and north, numerous parks and a series of 23 castles on its outskirts. In summertime the city is home to the Altstadtzauber (The Magic of the Old City) festival, Ironman Contest and the Ingeborg Bachmann Preis, a prize for German literature.

Also located here are the University of Klagenfurt and Klagenfurt Airport. Among other Austrian educational institutions, there is also the Slovenian non-classical Gymnasium.

In addition to cultural attractions and activities available in and around Klagenfurt, this city has one more important attribute that must be mentioned. Klagenfurt is in a central location to many other great European destinations. In the heart of Europe, Klagenfurt is only a couple of hours from Italy, Slovenia, Vienna, Salzburg, Hungary, and much more. Local residents in Klagenfurt have the luxury of being able to access these culturally diverse regions with relative ease.


The Austrian Ice-hockey record-champion EC KAC [1] is one of the most famous sports clubs in Austria. The "Eishockey Club Klagenfurter Athletik Club" has won the Austrian Championship 28 times and attracts fans from allover Carinthia.

The 2nd League Football club FC Kärnten is based in Klagenfurt.

Klagenfurt hosts the Start/Finish of the Austrian Ironman Triathlon, part of the ITU Ironman World Cup series.

Famous people

Famous residents include Josef Stefan, Robert Musil, Anton Webern and Ingeborg Bachmann. Nearby, near the town of Maiernigg, is the former summer home of Gustav Mahler.

Well known International Schools

IBG Ingeborg Bachmann High School

BORG Klagenfurt


Coat of Arms of the city/state of Vienna
Vienna (German: Wien [ʋiːn] and is close to the , see also other names) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city; with a population of about 1.7 million (2.2 million within the metropolitan area), and is by far the largest city in Austria as well as its cultural, economic and political centre. Vienna lies in the south-eastern corner of Central EuropeCzech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site .


Music, theatre and opera

Vienna State Opera
State Party

Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, including theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts. The Burgtheater is considered one of the best theatres in the German-speaking world alongside its branch, the Akademietheater. The Volkstheater Wien and the Theater in der Josefstadt also enjoy good reputations. There is also a multitude of smaller theatres, in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of performing arts, such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret.

Vienna is also home to a number of opera houses, including the Staatsoper and the Volksoper, the latter being devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Classical concerts are performed at well known venues such as the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wiener Konzerthaus. Many concert venues offer concerts aimed at tourists, featuring popular highlights of Viennese music (particularly the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss).

In recent years, the Theater an der Wien has become widely known for hosting premieres of musicals, although it has recently devoted itself to the opera again. The most successful musical by far was "Elisabeth", which was later translated into several other languages and performed all over the world. The Haus der Musik ("house of music") opened in 2000.

Many Roman Catholic churches in central Vienna also feature performances of religious or other music, including masses sung with classical music and organ.


The Museum moderner Kunst ("museum of modern art") is a part of the Museumsquartier
The Museum moderner Kunst ("museum of modern art") is a part of the Museumsquartier

The Hofburg is the location of the Schatzkammer (treasury), holding the imperial jewels of the Hapsburg dynasty. The Sisi Museum (a museum devoted to Queen Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie of Austria) allows visitors to view the Imperial apartments as well as the silver cabinet. Directly opposite the Hofburg are the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Naturhistorisches Museum, which houses many paintings by old masters and ancient and classical artefacts.

A number of museums are located the Museumsquartier (museum quarter), the former Imperial Stalls which were converted into museum complex in the 1990s. It houses the Museum of Modern Art (Ludwig Foundation), the Leopold Museum (focussing on works of the Viennese Secession, Viennese Modernism and Austrian Expressionism), additional halls with feature exhibitions and the Tanzquartier. The Liechtenstein Palace contains one of the world's largest private art collections. There are a multitude of other museums in Vienna, including the Military History Museum, the Technical Museum, the Vienna Clock Museum and the Burial Museum. The museums dedicated to Vienna's districts provide a retrospective of the respective districts.


Vienna's oldest church: the Ruprechtskirche
Vienna's oldest church: the Ruprechtskirche
The Jugendstil Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station by Otto Wagner
The Jugendstil Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station by Otto Wagner

A variety of architectural styles can be found in Vienna, such as the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche, the Baroque Karlskirche. Styles range from classicist buildings to modern architecture. Art Nouveau left many architectural traces in Vienna. The Secession, Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, and the Kirche am Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best known examples of Art Nouveau in the world.

The Hundertwasserhaus by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, designed to counter the clinical look of modern architecture, is one of Vienna's most popular tourist attractions. Another example of unique architecture is the Wotrubakirche by sculptor Fritz Wotruba.

In the 1990s, a number of quarters were adapted and extensive building projects were implemented in the areas around Donaustadt (north of the Danube) and Wienerberg (in southern Vienna). The 202 m-high Millennium Tower located at Handelskai is the highest building in Vienna[citation needed]. In recent years, Vienna has seen numerous architecture projects completed which combine modern architectural elements with old buildings, such as the remodelling and revitalisation of the old Gasometer in 2001.

Most buildings in Vienna are relatively low; there are currently (early 2006) around 100 buildings higher than 40 m. The number of high-rise buildings is kept low by building legislation aimed at preserving green areas and districts designated as world cultural heritage. Strong rules apply to the planning, authorisation and construction of high-rise buildings. Consequently, much of the inner city is a high-rise free zone.


Vienna is also Austria's main centre of education and home to many universities, professional colleges and gymnasiums.


Library of the University of Vienna
Library of the University of Vienna
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • Austrian Diplomatic Academy
  • Medical University of Vienna
  • PEF Private University of Management Vienna
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna
  • University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna
  • University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna
  • University of Vienna
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
  • Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • Vienna University of Technology
  • Webster University Vienna
  • Internationales Kulturinstitut

International schools

  • American International School Vienna
  • Danube International School
  • Vienna Christian School
  • Vienna International School
  • Lycée Francais de Vienne


Twelve bridges cross the Danube in the city, which is divided by the Danube and its branch, the Neue Donau ("new Danube").

Public transportation

The ULF tram stock, designed by Porsche and built by Siemens boasts an entry height of 180 mm (7 in), the lowest in the world. Of these vehicles, by 2003 some 150 were in use by the municipal Wiener Linien, along with around 400 older high-floor models (substitution proceeding)
The ULF tram stock, designed by Porsche and built by Siemens boasts an entry height of 180 mm (7 in), the lowest in the world. Of these vehicles, by 2003 some 150 were in use by the municipal Wiener Linien, along with around 400 older high-floor models (substitution proceeding)

Vienna has a large public transportation network.

  • Vienna S-Bahn
  • Vienna U-Bahn
  • Local Railways (Lokalbahn Wien-Baden)
  • Wiener Linien (= Vienna Lines, municipal company operating U-Bahn, trams, and most bus routes)

Vienna has an extensive tram and bus network - the tram network being third largest in the world. In the most populated areas of Vienna, public transport runs so frequently (even during off-peak hours) that any familiarity with departure timetables is virtually unnecessary. The convenience and flexibility of the public transport is in turn reflected by its popularity; 53% of Viennese workers travel to their workplace by public transport.[5] During night hours, public transport is continued by the Nightline buses operating on all the main routes, generally every half hour.

Fare prices within the city are independent of the length of the journey and covers all modes of public transport. Tickets are also available for various time periods, such as 24 hour, monthly or yearly tickets.

The Viennese public transport services are incorporated into a larger concentric system of transport zones, the VOR (Verkehrsverbund Ostregion = eastern region traffic association). VOR includes railway and bus lines operating 50 kilometers into the surrounding areas, and ticket prices are calculated according to the number of zones.

Tickets must be purchased (and often stamped) prior to boarding or entering a station. Tickets are not checked when entering a station or boarding, there are however regular ticket inspections on all routes.

There are also two miniature railways: the Liliputbahn in the Wiener Prater and the Donauparkbahn in the Donaupark.


Wien Westbahnhof, the starting point of the Austrian Western Railway.
Wien Westbahnhof, the starting point of the Austrian Western Railway.

Historically, all transport was oriented towards the main cities in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Vienna has several train stations that form the beginning of several train lines:

  • Wien Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof, the starting point of the Franz Josef Railway
  • Wien Westbahnhof, starting point of the Western Railway
  • Wien Südbahnhof (Former South and East Station) for the Southern Railway and the Eastern Railway

There are also several through train stations:

  • Wien Hütteldorf on the Western Railway
  • Wien Heiligenstadt on the Franz Josef Railway
  • Wien Praterstern (Formerly known as Wien Nord or Wien Nord-Praterstern) on the Northern Railway.
  • Wien Meidling (Philadelphiabrücke) on the Southern Railway. This is Vienna's most frequented transit station.
  • Wien Mitte (Landstraße) on the S-Bahn Stammstrecke ("main line") is the nearest railway station to the centre of Vienna.

There are also a large number of smaller stations that are important for local passenger traffic. Since the mid 1990s, the Westbahnhof and Südbahnhof have handled all long-distance travel. Many trains also stop at Hütteldorf or Meidling, especially when inbound.

In order to bundle all long-distance traffic it has become necessary to build a tunnel, colloquially known as the Wildschweintunnel ("boar tunnel"), underneath Lainzer Tiergarten linking the Western Railway to the Southern Railway. The new bundled train line will connect to a new through train station called Wien Hauptbahnhof that will be constructed instead of the Südbahnhof.

Road traffic

River Danube, Brigittenauer Brücke (bridge) and Millennium Tower in Vienna (view from Donauturm)
River Danube, Brigittenauer Brücke (bridge) and Millennium Tower in Vienna (view from Donauturm)

Similar to the train lines, Bundesstraßen leave the city in a star-shaped pattern. Some are named after their historical final destination (Prager Straße to Prague, Linzer Straße to Linz, Triester Straße to Trieste and Brünner Straße to Brno). Bundesstraßen can be compared to Federal Highways in the United States, being two-lane in rural areas and multi-lane in urban areas.

Three national autobahns leave Vienna in the westerly (A1), southerly (A2), and easterly directions (A4). Similar to the rail lines, they are commonly referred to after their exit direction (Westautobahn, Südautobahn, and Ostautobahn). In addition, several spur and branch autobahns circle around the southern and eastern areas of the city. The protected Wienerwald forest area in the western and northern areas has been left mostly untouched.

Air traffic

Vienna International Airport is located to the southeast of Vienna. The airport handled over 237,400 departures in 2006 and was frequented by 16.86 million passengers [6]. Following lengthy negotiations with surrounding communities, the airport will be expanded to increase its capacity by adding of a third runway. The airport is currently undergoing a major enlargement (construction of several new buildings) to prepare for an expected increase in passengers.

Water transportation

Vienna is connected to Rotterdam and German Industrial areas via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, and to Eastern European countries along the Danube to the Black Sea. The planned Danube-Oder canal remains unfinished.

Nearly all of Vienna's drinking water is brought to the city via two large water pipelines, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pipelines stretch 120 km (75 miles) and 200 km (124 miles) from the Alps to the city's Hietzing district. The Alpine sources are pristine and the water does not require treatment.

Leisure activities

Viennese parks and gardens

View of Vienna from Leopoldsberg
View of Vienna from Leopoldsberg
The "Alte Donau", one of the top bathing and recreation spots
The "Alte Donau", one of the top bathing and recreation spots

Vienna possesses many park facilities and is one of the greenest cities in the world. Parks include the Stadtpark, the Burggarten, the Volksgarten (part of the Hofburg), the Schloßpark at Schloss Belvedere (home to the Vienna Botanic Gardens), the Donaupark, the Schönbrunner Schlosspark, the Prater, the Augarten, the Rathauspark, the Lainzer Tiergarten, the Dehnepark, the Resselpark, the Votivpark, the Kurpark Oberlaa, the Auer-Welsbach-Park and the Türkenschanzpark. Green areas include Laaer-Berg (including the Bohemian Prater) and the foothills of the Wienerwald, which reaches into the outer areas of the city. Small parks, known by the Viennese as Beserlparks, are everywhere in the inner city areas. Many of Vienna's famous parks include monuments, such as the Stadtpark with its statue of Johann Strauss II, and the gardens of the baroque palace, where the State Treaty was signed. Vienna's principal park is the Prater which is home to the Riesenrad, a ferris wheel. The imperial Schönbrunn's grounds contain an 18th century park which includes the world's oldest zoo, founded in 1752. The Donauinsel, part of Vienna's flood defences, is a 21.1 km long artificial island between the Danube and Neue Donau dedicated to leisure activities.


Steffen Hofmann, playing for Rapid Wien
Steffen Hofmann, playing for Rapid Wien

Vienna hosts many different sporting events including the Vienna City Marathon, which attracts more than 10,000 participants every year and normally takes place in May. In 2005 the Ice Hockey World Championships took place in Austria and the final was played in Vienna. Vienna's Ernst Happel Stadium was the venue of four Champions League and European Champion Clubs' Cup finals (1964, 1987, 1990, 1995) and will host the final of Euro 2008.

Austria's capital is home to numerous teams. The best known are the local football clubs SK Rapid Wien (31 Austrian Bundesliga titles), FK Austria Wien (23 Austrian Bundesliga titles and 25-time cup winners) and the oldest team, First Vienna FC. Other important sport clubs include the Chrysler Vikings Vienna (American Football), who won the Eurobowl title in 2004, the Vienna Hot Volleys, one of Europe's premier Volleyball organisations, and the Vienna Capitals (Ice Hockey).

Culinary specialities



Vienna is well known for Wiener schnitzel, a cutlet of veal that is pounded flat, coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, and fried in clarified butter. It is available in almost every restaurant that serves Viennese cuisine. Other examples of Viennese cuisine include "Tafelspitz" (very lean boiled beef), which is traditionally served with "Gerösteten Erdäpfeln" (boiled potatoes mashed with a fork and subsequently fried) and horseradish sauce, "Apfelkren" (a mixture of horseradish, cream and apple) and "Schnittlauchsauce" (a chives sauce made with mayonnaise and old bread).

Vienna has a long tradition of cakes and desserts. These include Apfelstrudel (hot apple strudel), Palatschinken (sweet pancakes), and Knödel (dumplings) often filled with fruit such as apricots (Marillenknödel). Sachertorte, a dry chocolate cake with apricot jam from the Sacher Hotel, is world famous.

In winter, small street stands sell traditional Maroni (hot chestnuts) and potato fritters. Sausages are also popular and available from street vendors throughout the night. The sausage known as Wiener (German for "Viennese") in the USA and Germany is however called a Frankfurter. Other popular sausages are Burenwurst (a coarse beef and pork sausage, generally boiled) and Käsekrainer (spicy pork with small chunks of cheese).

The Naschmarkt is a permanent market for fruit, vegetables, spices, fish, meat and much more from around the world. The city centre has many speciality food stores, such as the "Julius Meinl am Graben".


Vienna is the world's only capital city with its own vineyards (although Paris also retains a single vineyard). The wine is served in small Viennese pubs known as Heuriger, which are especially numerous in the wine growing areas of Döbling (Grinzing, Neustift am Walde, Nußdorf, Salmannsdorf, Sievering) and Floridsdorf (Stammersdorf, Strebersdorf). The wine is often drunk as a spritzer ("G'spritzter") with sparkling water. The Grüner Veltliner, a white wine, is the most widely cultivated wine in Austria.

Beer is next in importance to wine. Vienna has a single large brewery, Ottakringer, and more than ten microbreweries. A "Beisl" is a typical small Austrian pub, of which Vienna has many.

Viennese cafés

Viennese cafés have an extremely long and distinguished history that dates back centuries, and the caffeine addictions of some famous historical patrons of the oldest are something of a local legend. Traditionally, the coffee comes with a glass of water. Viennese cafés claim to have invented the process of filtering coffee from bounty captured after the second Turkish siege in 1683. Viennese cafés claim that when the invading Turks left Vienna, they abandoned hundreds of sacks of coffee beans. The Emperor gave Franz George Kolschitzky some of this coffee as a reward for providing information that allowed the Austrians to defeat the Turks. Kolschitzky then opened Vienna's first coffee shop. Julius Meinl set up a modern roasting plant in the same premises where the coffee sacks were found, in 1891.

Tourist attractions

Major tourist attractions include the imperial palaces of the Hofburg and Schönbrunn (also home to the world's oldest zoo, Tiergarten Schönbrunn) and the Riesenrad in the Prater. Cultural highlights include the Burgtheater, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Lipizzaner horses at the spanische Hofreitschule and the Vienna Boys' Choir, as well as excursions to Vienna's Heuriger districts.

There are also a number of art galleries, such as the Albertina, Belvedere, Museumsquartier, KunstHausWien and BA-CA Kunstforum. Popular museums include the museums in the Hofburg, the twin Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum and the Technisches Museum, each of which receives over 250,000 visitors per year [7].

Sites associated with the many composers who lived in Vienna are also popular, such as Beethoven's various residences and St. Marx cemetery (where his grave was lost), Mozart's. A memorial grave has been placed for Mozart there and at Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) which is the largest cemetery in Vienna. Vienna's many churches also draw large crowds, the most famous of which are St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Deutschordenskirche, the Jesuitenkirche, the Karlskirche, the Peterskirche, Maria am Gestade, the Minoritenkirche, the Ruprechtskirche, the Schottenkirche and the Votivkirche.

Modern attractions include the Hundertwasserhaus, the United Nations headquarters and the view from the Donauturm.


Uppsala [ˈɵpˌsɑːla] (older spelling Upsala) is a city in central Sweden, located about 70 km north of Stockholm. It is the fourth largest city in Sweden with its 130,000 inhabitants; including immediate surroundings, Uppsala Municipality amounts to 183 403 (2005).

Uppsala is the capital of Uppsala County (Uppsala Län), and Sweden's ecclesiastical centre, being the seat of Sweden's archbishop since 1164. Uppsala is famous for its university, the oldest still existing in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, founded in 1477 (a Studium Generale was founded in Lund already in 1425).


Uppsala cathedral in the background
Uppsala cathedral in the background
Street in Uppsala
Street in Uppsala

Uppsala was originally located a few kilometers to the north, at a location now known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). Today's Uppsala was then called Östra Aros. (Old) Uppsala was, according to medieval writer Adam of Bremen, the main heathen centre of Sweden, and the Temple at Uppsala contained magnificent idols of the Æsir gods.

As a replacement for the Scandinavian gods, Uppsala was made into a strong Christian centre. A bishop was soon consecrated, and in 1164 Uppsala was made into an archdiocese, with Stefan, a monk from Alvastra Abbey, being consecrated the first Archbishop of Uppsala and primate of Sweden.

The present-day Uppsala was at that time known as Östra Aros and was a port town of Gamla Uppsala. In 1274, Östra Aros overtook Gamla Uppsala as the main regional center, and when the cathedral of Gamla Uppsala burnt down, the archbishopric was moved to Östra Aros, and the impressive Uppsala Cathedral erected.

Uppsala is the site of the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. Carolus Linnaeus, one of the renowned scholars of Uppsala University, lived in the city for many years, and both his house and garden can still be visited. Uppsala Cathedral is built in the Gothic style and is one of the largest in northern Europe, with towers reaching 118 metres. Uppsala is also the site of the 16th century Uppsala Castle.

The city was severely damaged by a fire in 1702. Historical and cultural treasures were also lost, as in many Swedish cities, from demolitions during the 1960s and 1970s. Despite the lack of understanding of the value of the older buildings at that time, many historic buildings remain, especially in the western part of the city.

The arms with the lion can be traced from 1737. It has been modernized several times since, most recently in 1986. The meaning of the lion is not certain but is likely connected to the royal lion, also depicted on the Coat of Arms of Sweden.


Historically, Uppsala Municipality has been a centre both of conservatism and liberalism, both receiving their ideological nourishment from the University. Today, however, the city is divided between left and right and has since 1994 been governed by a coalition of the Social Democrats, the Left Party and the Green Party until the 2006 elections where the centre-right coalition Alliance for Sweden won not only the national elections but also the regional.

The Livets Ord evangelistic church is based in Uppsala.


Situated on the fertile Uppsala flatlands of muddy soil, the city is featured by the small Fyris River (Fyrisån) flowing through the landscape surrounded by lush vegetation. Parallel to the river runs the glacial ridge of Uppsalaåsen, at an elevation of circa 30 metres the site of Uppsala's castle from which large parts of the town can be seen. The central park Stadsskogen stretches from the south far into town, with opportunities for recreation for many residential areas within walking distance.

Only some 70 kilometers or 40 minutes by train from the capital, many Uppsala residents work in Stockholm. The train to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport takes only 17 minutes, rendering the city easily accessible by air.

The commercial centre of Uppsala can best be described as quite compact: While some beautiful buildings remain in the periphery of the central core, especially on the less intensively built western river bank around the cathedral, castle and university, retail commercial activity is geographically focused to a minor number of blocks around the pedestrianized streets and main square, an area which was subject to large-scale post-World War II metamorphosis during the economically booming years in the 1960s in particular. During recent decades, a significant part of the retail commercial activity has been relocated to shopping malls and stores situated in the outskirts of the city. Alongside with this, the built up areas have expanded in a quite extensive way, and a certain suburbanization has taken place.


As in many university towns, the bicycle is a common means of transport. Uppsala Central Station in the background to the left.
As in many university towns, the bicycle is a common means of transport. Uppsala Central Station in the background to the left.

Today Uppsala is well established in medical research and recognized for its leading position in biotechnology.

  • GE Healthcare
  • Pfizer (see Pharmacia)
  • Fresenius
  • Slotts (food manufacturer, including mustard)
  • Lindvalls kaffe (coffee manufacturer)
  • Headquarters of MySQL AB
  • Q-Med (bioscience)


  • Uppsala University. Founded in 1477, under bishop Jakob Ulvsson. Closed in 1515. Officially reopened in 1595, following the Uppsala Synod in 1593. The university has a famous anatomical theatre, constructed by the scientist and polymath Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702), in the old university building Gustavianum. Nowadays the building is a museum. The University has 13 student nations each representing a geographical region of Sweden.
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, main campus)

Sites of interest

The Fyris river neatly divides the city into two different parts: the historic quarter to the west of the river and the administrative, residential and commercial area to the east. Most of the features of interest are in the western part, dominated by the cathedral, and with its old streets, river views and parks.

The most outstanding building in Uppsala is the Domkyrka (Uppsala Cathedral), Scandinavia's largest church (118.70m high), which is visible from most parts of town.

Facing the west end of the cathedral is the Gustavianum, built in 1625 to be the main building of the University, and served as such through most of the 19th century. It contains the Museum of Nordic Antiquities, the Victoria Museum (of Egyptian antiquities) and the University's cultural history collections. It also houses a perfectly preserved 17th-century Anatomical Theatre (used in its time for public dissections).

Across the street from the Gustavianum stands the new building of the Uppsala University, erected in 1879-86 in Italian Renaissance style.

Not very far from the University stands the Uppsala University Library (Carolina Rediviva), also the largest library in Sweden, with over 2 million volumes and some 30,000 manuscripts. The building was built in 1820-1841.

On a circa 35-metre high hill to the southwest of the University Library stands Uppsala Castle. Its construction was initiated in 1549 by King Gustav Vasa, founder of the modern Swedish kingdom. Today the castle holds several museums.

5km north of Uppsala lies Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), the location of the medieval village of Uppsala. There are few remains, with the exception of three huge burial mounds of pre-Christian monarchs and a 12th-century church.


Stockholm (IPA: ['stɔkhɔlm]; UN/LOCODE: SE STO) is the capital of Sweden, and consequently the site of its Government and Parliament as well as the residence of the Swedish head of state, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Stockholm has been Sweden's political and economic center since the 13th century.[1] Today it is the largest municipality of Sweden, with a population of 776,000, while the populations of the Stockholm urban area and Metropolitan Stockholm are roughly 1.2 and 1.9 million, respectively.

With its location on the east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, it is widely renowned for its beauty.[1]

Coat of arms of City of Stockholm
Coat of arms

Stockholm panorama from the City Hall


The location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, and especially in connection with the legendary king Agne. The earliest mention of Stockholm in writing dates from 1252, when the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name (stock) means log, while the second (holm) means islet, and refers to the islet Stadsholmen in central Stockholm which for centuries constituted the main part of Stockholm.

The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl in order to protect Sweden from a sea invasion by foreign navies, and to stop the pillage of towns such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren. It is also said that the name derives from the spot where a log (stock) pushed into the waters, and following its currents, drifted upon an islet (holm). This location would thus constitute the best location for a harbour for returning ships.

The strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On November 8, 1520, massive executions of opposition figures, called the Stockholm Bloodbath, took place. This massacre set off further uprisings, which eventually led to the break-up of the Kalmar Union.

With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching ten thousand by 1600.

The 17th century saw Sweden rise into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680, the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634, Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were also created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories.

Stockholm as a flourishing place of merchancy around 1690. Stadsholmen, today's Old Town in the middle. Etching from Suecia antiqua et hodierna
Stockholm as a flourishing place of merchancy around 1690. Stadsholmen, today's Old Town in the middle. Etching from Suecia antiqua et hodierna

Between 1713–1714, Stockholm suffered from the Black Death. After the end of the Great Northern War and the destruction of several areas of the city in 1721, the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. The royal opera is a good architectural example of this era.

By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged, and Stockholm transformed into an important trade and service centre, as well as a key gateway point within Sweden. The population also grew radically during this time, mainly through immigration. At the end of the century, less than 40% of the residents were Stockholm-born. Settlement began to expand outside of the city limits. In the 19th century, a number of scientific institutes opened in Stockholm, including the Karolinska Institute.

In the late 20th century, Stockholm became a modern, technologically-advanced, and ethnically diverse city. Many historical buildings were torn down, including the entire historical district of Klara , and replaced with modern architecture. Throughout the century, many industries shifted away from work-intensive activities into more high-technology and service-industry areas.

The city continued to expand and new districts were created, such as Rinkeby, and Tensta, some with high proportions of immigrants.


Main campus of the Royal Institute of Technology.
Main campus of the Royal Institute of Technology.

Research and higher education in the sciences started in Stockholm in the 18th century, with an education in medicine and various research institutions, such as the Stockholm Observatory. The medical education was eventually formalized in 1811 as the Karolinska Institutet. The Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, or KTH) was founded in 1827 and is currently Scandinavia's largest higher education institute of technology with 13,000 students. Stockholm University, founded in 1878 with university status granted in 1960, has 35,000 students as of 2004. It also incorporates many historical institutions, such as the Observatory, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and the botanical garden Bergianska trädgården. The Stockholm School of Economics, founded in 1909, is one of few private institutions of higher education in Sweden.

In the fine arts, educational institutions include the Royal College of Music, which has a history going back to the conservatory founded as part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1771, the Royal University College of Fine Arts, which has a similar historical association with the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and a foundation date of 1735, and the Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting, which is the continuation of the school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, once attended by Greta Garbo. Other schools include the design school Konstfack, founded in 1844, the University College of Opera (founded in 1968, but with older roots), the University College of Dance, and the Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut (the University College of Music Education).

The Södertörn University College was founded in 1995 as a multidisciplinary institution for southern Metropolitan Stockholm, to balance the many institutions located in the northern part of the region.

Other institutes of higher education are:

  • Ersta Sköndal University College
  • The Stockholm School of Theology (Teologiska Högskolan, Stockholm)
  • The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, or GIH)
  • The Stockholm Institute of Education (Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm)

Banda Islands

The Banda Islands (Indonesian: Kepulauan Banda in the and ) are a group of ten small volcanic islandsBanda Sea, about 140km south of Seram island and about 2000km east of Java, and are part of the Indonesian province of Maluku. The main town and administrative centre is Bandanaira, located on the island of the same name. They rise out of 4-6 km deep ocean and have a total land area of approximately 180 km². They have a population of about 15,000. Until the mid 19th century the Banda Islands were the world's only source of the spices nutmeg and mace, produced from the nutmeg tree. The islands are also popular destinations for scuba divingsnorkeling.

Banda Besar island seen from Fort Belgica.
Banda Besar island seen from Fort Belgica.


There are seven inhabited islands and several that are uninhabited. The inhabited islands are:

The active volcano Gunung Api in the Banda Islands
The active volcano Gunung Api in the Banda Islands

Main group:

  • Banda Neira, or Naira, the island with the administrative capital and a small airfield (as well as accommodation for visitors).
  • Gunung Api, an active volcano with a peak of about 650m
  • Banda Besar is the largest island, 12km long and 3km wide. It has three main settlements, Lonthoir, Selamon and Waer.

Some distance to the west:

  • Pulau Ai or Pulau Ay
  • Pulau Run, further west again.

To the east:

  • Pulau Pisang, also known as Syahrir.

To the southeast:

  • Pulau Hatta formerly Rosengain or Rozengain

Others, possibly small and/or uninhabited, are:

  • Nailaka, a short distance northeast of Pulau Run
  • Batu Kapal
  • Manuk, an active volcano
  • Pulau Keraka or Pulau Karaka (Crab Island)
  • Manukang
  • Hatta Reef

Bandanese culture

Most of the present-day inhabitants of the Banda Islands are descended from migrants and plantation labourers from various parts of Indonesia, as well as from indigenous Bandanese. They have inherited aspects of pre-colonial ritual practices in the Bandas that are highly valued and still performed, giving them a distinct and very local cultural identity.

In addition, Bandanese speak a distinct Malay Dialect which has several features distinguishing it from Ambonese Malay, the better-known and more widespread dialect that forms a lingua franca in central and southeast Maluku. Bandanese Malay is famous in the region for its unique, lilting accent, but it also has a number of locally identifying words in its lexicon, many of them borrowings or loanwords from Dutch.

Gunung Api as seen from Fort Belgica on Banda Neira.Note people at left.
Gunung Api as seen from Fort Belgica on Banda Neira.
Note people at left.

Examples :

  • fork : forok (Dutch vork)
  • ants : mir (Dutch mier)
  • spoon : lepe (Dutch lepel)
  • difficult : lastek (Dutch lastig)
  • floor : plur (Dutch vloer)
  • porch: stup (Dutch stoep)

Banda Malay shares many Portuguese loanwords with Ambonese Malay not appearing in the national language, Indonesian. But it has comparatively fewer, and they differ in pronunciation.

Examples :

  • turtle : tetaruga (Banda Malay); totoruga (Ambonese Malay) (from Portuguese tartaruga)
  • throat : gargontong (Banda Malay); gargangtang (Ambonese Malay) (from Portuguese garganta)

Finally, and most noticeably, Banda Malay uses some distinct pronouns. The most immediately distinguishing is that of the second person singular familiar form of address: pané.

The descendants of some of the Bandanese who fled Dutch conquest in the seventeenth century live in the Kai Islands (Kepulauan Kei) to the east of the Banda group, where a version of the original Banda language is still spoken in the villages of Banda Eli and Banda Elat on Kai Besar Island. While long integrated into Kei Island society, residents of these settlements continue to value the historical origins of their ancestors.


Lombok (1990 pop. 2,403,025) is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. It is part of the chain of the Lesser Sunda Islands, with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali to the west and the Alas Strait between it and Sumbawa to the east. It is roughly circular, with a "tail" to the southwest, about 70 km across and a total area of about 4,725 km² (1,825 sq mi). The administrative capital and largest city on the island is Mataram. Lombok in Indonesia language and local Sasak people has different meaning. In Sasak Language Lombok mean Straight and in Indonesia languange meaning is Chili.
Gili Meno West Coast
Gili Meno West Coast
Gunung Rinjani
Gunung Rinjani
Gunung Rinjani from Gili Trawangan
Gunung Rinjani from Gili Trawangan


Lombok's people are 85% Sasak, culturally and linguistically closely related to the Balinese, but unlike Bali's Hindu they are Muslims. A notable non-orthodox Islamic group found only on Lombok are the Wektu Telu ("Three Prayers"), who as the name suggests pray only three times daily, instead of the five times required in the Quran.


While tropical, hot and humid, Lombok is drier than neighboring Bali, which makes it a particularly attractive option during the October-December rainy season (it rains on Lombok too, but rarely for more than an hour). The peak of the tourist season, though, is May through August.


The main local language is Sasak. Bahasa Indonesia is universally spoken and English is common in the resort areas.

Get in

By plane

Lombok's only airport is Mataram's Selaparang Airport (AMI), which occasionally also shows up in flight schedules as "Ampenan" (hence the seemingly odd airport code). There are frequent connections to Denpasar on Bali (30 min) and Surabaya (1 hour) on Garuda, Merpati and Germania Trisakti ("GT Air"), but only a single flight per day to Jakarta or Yogyakarta (both on Garuda). International flights are limited to Kuala Lumpur daily on Merpati and Singapore thrice weekly on Silk Air, with visas available on arrival. Lombok Network maintains a useful, mostly-updated flight schedule listing all flights to the island.

By boat

Slow boats from Padang Bai on Bali leave about every hour for the four- to five-hour trip to Lembar (Rp 25,000). The slow ferries are a bit rusty and dusty, with minimal restroom facilities, and are used mostly by locals, with few tourists on board. Access to the passenger deck is usually from the vehicle deck via steep and narrow stairs, so maneuvering heavy luggage is a challenge. Would-be porters wait by the docks, and will happily carry your stuff for Rp 10,000 per item. Sometimes they insist on doing so even when you don't ask. They can be a bit intimidating, and sometimes try to overcharge. Lots of Kuta travel agents offer end-to-end transport, including a van ride from your Bali hotel to Padang Bai, the ferry ticket, and a ride from the dock on Lombok to your ultimate destination, for Rp 130,000 and up depending on where you are going in Lombok.

Fast ferries run from Benoa on Bali to Lembar on Lombok twice daily in season, one daily in the off season. The trip takes just 2 hours but costs US$25/30 depending on class. Perama Tour also runs daily cruises from Padang Bai directly to Senggigi for Rp120,000.

Get around

By bemo

Bemos (converted passenger-carrying minivans) are the main means of long-distance transport on Lombok. They can be hailed down on all larger streets, and will happily take you even short hops around Senggigi. Fares are cheap: for example, as of November 2005 the official fare from Mataram to Senggigi is Rp. 1500/person, but tourists tend to get charged a bit extra and empty bemos will expect you to charter them for a higher price yet. Travel agents can also get you on semi-regular shuttle services, which connect Senggigi, the airport, and the harbors of Lembar (for Bali) and Bangsal (for the Gilis).

By taxi

Metered taxis are a fairly new development on Lombok, but they have become quite common in Mataram and Senggigi. The largest operator is Blue Bird, although there are a few other companies competing for your custom. As of November 2005, flag fall is Rp3,850 and the meter ticks up a few hundred rupiah for every hundred meters past 2 km. Figure on Rp10,000 for hops around town and around Rp30,000 from Senggigi to Mataram.

By horse cart

Horse-pulled carts known as cidomo are very common on Lombok, and while a bit touristy in Senggigi and the Gilis, they're still a serious method of transportation elsewhere.

By boat

Traditional fishing boats known as perahu ply the waters around Lombok, and are instantly recognizable due to their rather unusual feature of having two logs attached by bars on both sides like a catamaran, for greater stability in heavy swells. They can also be chartered, either directly from owners (in which case some knowledge of Bahasa will come in handy) or via any travel agent, who will of course take their cut. Some prices to aim for are Rp.100,000 from Bangsal to the Gilis or Rp.400,000 for a full day.

By bicycle

Traffic is relatively light throughout the island so travel by bicycle is quite possible, and provides a very different cultural experience to other means of transport. You should bring your own touring bike, as local bikes are of a very basic quality. For a full “Fact Sheet” on cycle touring in Lombok see : http://users.chariot.net.au/~gloria/indonesia.htm


  • Tanjung Aan, a beautiful area near the Kuta Beach. The sand is very unique that it looks like pepper. Come early as the beach guards will be there by then. Otherwise you may get bugged by lots of hawkers (mainly children) trying to sell everything.
Weaving process
  • See the local handicraft and weaving process in Desa (village) Sukarare. The price should be cheaper than in Sengigi shops.
  • Narmada Park (Taman Narmada). Located 10 km east of Mataram, this park was the relaxation place for king during feodalism time. This park has a Hindu temple and swimming pool. Also it has a fountain which called "Youth Fountain" which is believed to give long life to a person that drink water from the fountain. Entry fee for this park is cheap. It will cost around Rp 5000.


  • Traditional massage. There will be a lot of women offering the massage service. For more professional service, ask the hotel staffs.
  • Snorkelling. There are several good sites between the Gili Islands. If lucky, you can spot and swim with turtles.


Given that the very word lombok means "chili pepper" in Bahasa Indonesia, the local cuisine isn't quite as spicy as you might expect. Probably the best known local dish is is ayam taliwang, chicken stewed in a rich sauce of galangal, turmeric and (of course) chili.


A meal in a tourist-oriented restaurant will be around Rp. 15-20k per person. In a local restoran the same meal might be about Rp. 12k or less. On the road, simple warungs sell "nasi bunkus", a pyramid shaped parcel of about 400gm of rice with several tasty extras for as little as Rp. 2k. One very reliable option is nasi campur ( rice with several options, chosen by the purchaser) for about Rp. 5k or so. Note that rice is often served at ambient temperature.


Indonesia's national beer, Bintang, is a pilsner that can be found in the larger centres, but usually not in Muslim areas. Note that beer is relatively expensive : a small bottle costs at least the same as a full meal in a "local" eatery.


Nearly all of Lombok's better-quality accommodation can be found in Senggigi, while backpackers tend to make a beeline for the Gili Islands. See those articles for details; the following covers only accommodation elsewhere in Lombok.


  • Nusa Bunga, Klui, Central Lombok, tel: +62 0370 693035 fax: +62 370 693036 web: www.nusabunga.com . Very friendly staff and superb photo gallery on the website. As described in Lonely Planet: "A well-run place, is one of the better ones. It has a splendid, idyllic beachfront position, a pool and thatched bungalows in a pretty garden". The hotel is located 4 kilometers north of Senggigi. Rates:US$35-45/night including generous breakfast.
  • Novotel Lombok, Mandalika Resort Pantai Putri Nyale Pujut, Central Lombok, tel. +62-370-653333, Fax +62-370-653555, email: hotel@novotel-lombok.com. Might be a good choice If travelling with children, as the resort was apparently built with children's needs in mind - with interesting swimming pool design, good playing and sport areas for kids. The resort is located approx. 1h drive from Mataram. Rates: US$66-77/night.
  • Qunci Villa, Mangsit Beach, Tel. +62-370-693800, Fax +62-370-693802, email: stay@quncivillas.com. A small resort where the staffs know and greet you by your first name. A nice medium size swimming pool which looks as if it is part of the sea. The room does not have TV, in order to 'detach' the guests from the outside world. The restaurant serve very good food at reasonable price, and dinner can be enjoyed directly on the beach. Rates: US$70-90.


  • The Oberoi Lombok, Medana Beach, Tanjung West Lombok, Tel. +62-370-638444, Fax +62-370-632496, email: gm@theoberoi-lombok.com, [1]. The most expensive hotel in Lombok. An ideal hideaway due to its 'secluded' area. Rates: US$270-952/night (discounts available).
Stay safe

Although Lombok is a safe and stable place, these tips may help you along the way:

  • There is no written curfew, but when travelling in villages or non-tourist areas you are best to stay indoors after dark.
  • Always have locks on the zips of your bags. Not only do they keep thieving hands out they also prevent people slipping prohibited substances in.
  • Dress modestly in villages and religious sites; long pants or sarongs are suggested and a blouse that covers the woman's bust and shoulders should do the trick. This is not so much a safety measure, but it does save you and onlookers from embarrassment.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Seychelles Vacations

Seychelles vacation


It is not surprising that the Seychelles has a reputation as a playground of the rich and famous. The archipelago off the east coast of Africa is made up of over 100 islands with fine white sands scattered with granite boulders and amid turquoise seas.

Vacations in the Seychelles make the perfect tropical island break and you will find plenty of activities to entertain yourself through the day, especially diving, fishing and sailing.

Accommodations on the Seychelles has traditionally consisted of exclusive island resorts, and these still rank amongst the best in the world. But recently more affordable guesthouse accommodations has become available on the main islands.

The majority of the population lives on Mahe and Praslin, the two main islands. Here you can enjoy a mix of African and European influences and, of course, beautiful beaches. From both islands it is easy and enjoyable to go island hopping around the archipelago.
Seychelles Vacations: best for
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Snorkelling and diving in crystal clear waters
  • Sailing on the trade winds
  • Sports fishing trips
  • Five-star exclusive island resorts
  • Island hopping
Seychelles Vacations: best avoided
There are strong seasonal currents on some islands - always follow signs on beaches

Seychelles Weather
The Seychelles is close to the equator and has warm weather all year. The temperature is dictated by the trade winds. The Southeast winds bring cooler and windier weather from May to September. The Northwest winds in October to March are warmer but still fairly windy. The calmest and warmest months are during the changeover periods in April and October.

Currency in Seychelles
The currency in the Seychelles is the rupee, SCR, made up of 100 cents. Credit cards are widely accepted.

image Seychelles Car Rental
In the Seychelles cars drive on the left. Roads on the main islands are well maintained.

Language in Seychelles
Creole is the official language of the Seychelles but English is widely spoken.

Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

The great Fish

The great Fish

School of sweetlips.jpg

School of sweetlips.jpg

Tambja affinis

Tambja affinis