HOTELS Look At The Stupid Emperor …!

Wilhelm II, Germany's last Kaiser, is celebrated in a *****Hotel

Atlantic

Tourists admiring the emperor ...

 

Atlantic

… and a photo of Wilhelm II

I KNOW, I KNOW, if you inherit a first class hotel and find such a wall deco- ration in the lobby-lounge, you hesitate to destroy it. This one, made of blue tiles (looking like Delft porcelain), might be there an the wall of the legendary and noble „Atlantic“ in the seaport of Hamburg (Germany), in life-size, since the days when the emperor still ruled Germany, which means: before 1918. They kicked him into exile, mainly as the idiot who had started World War I, an amazingly stupid ruler, a ruthless creature who had occupied the throne by far too long. And now, even in 2017, groups of tourists are guided through the lobby and the lounge to admire the emperor there in blue tiles. An antiquity, roughly 100 years old, and since Hamburg is Germany’s most important harbor, Wilhelm II wears a kind of marine uniform. Is there any other hotel on the globe which celebrates a deceased emperor, everybody sneers at? I doubt it …

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ZOOS How Many Animals are Killed Each Year?

Thousands and far too many, but it's probably unavoidable ...

The Lion Logo of the EAZA

WHO’S RIGHT, WHO’S WRONG? I don’t know, I can’t come to a conclusion. Sometimes I think they have to do it, sometimes I think they shouldn’t. To kill old, aggressive and redundant animals in captivity, seems to be necessary – and there is an public uproar only, if 1 The animal has a name, 2 Is therefore well known to the visitors, 3 It is an animals with eyes, lashes and a voice, 4 It is endangered, 5 It is well liked basically as a species. Nobody is shocked when a Zoo kills 20 newborn pythons or a bunch of spiders. But kill a giraffe or a lion, their is an outcry on five continents (like when they killed a giraffe in the Odense Zoo in Denmark). The never call it „kill“, they use the term „cull“, which sounds much softer. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that just the 321 members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) cull between 3000 and 5000 animals a year. Necessary? Well, obviously. EAZA members host about 900 giraffes momentarily, mostly females, because they form herds which are more peaceful, age better – and they can reproduce! Inbreeding is a reason for culling, as well as over-population. „Bring them back to Africa“, animal lovers shout; but these Zoo creatures wouldn’t survive a week in the wild! „Swap them with other institutions“; nice idea and it’s done; EAZA has a very able director who organizes the distribution of redundant animals all over Europe and beyond, or let’s they: He tries. It done without a price tag, the receiving Zoo pays for the transport only. So far, so good. But nobody wants, for instance, giraffes. They have too many in captivity, of five subspecies. That’s another problem: Mixing subspecies to create hybrids? No good. And should they send lions, grown up in spacious Safari Park habitats, to a Zoo with small prison cells only? Big problems, but it’s important, I think, that you know about it …

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WILDLIFE The Most Deadly National Park!

Why so many people are killed by animals in an protected area ...

Kaziranga

Looks good – riding elephants on Safari ...

IN

Kaziranga

The emblem of the N. P. ...

Kaziranga

… and the location of Kaziranga

NORTHEASTERN INDIA, IN ASSAM! It’s called KAZIRANGA and naturally you can’t find any information about the deadly dangers lurking in this tiger, elephant and buffalo N. P. Informations would scare tourists away and the authorities depend on as many visitors as possible. I found the information in the monthly bulletin of the „Explorers Club“ (of which I’m a member) and even there it was vague, not stating how many people are killed each year, but when I enquired, I heard the figure of „between 70 and 80“. The victims, all killed by wild animals, are not only tourists, but villagers who live near the park and game wardens as well. The reason for the high risk is obviously the especially wild jungle and swamp character of KAZIRANGA and the missing infrastructure. A fact that’s a blessing for the ecology but makes visiting nerve-cracking. By the way: KAZIRANGA is an old National Park, founded in 1905 by the British and measures 430 sqkm. The location is far off the beaten path, not many people visit here and this means, that the percentage of the killed visitors is far above any National Park standard the world over …

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CURIOSITIES Animals with Trump’s Hairstyle!

Don't say zoologists are too serious to have humour ...

Trump

That's the human original ...

Trump

… that's the moth „Neopalpa donaldtrumpi“ ...

Trump

… because of this hairstyle ...

Trump

… and here comes the „Trumpapillar“!

YES, THE USA GOT A NEW PRESI- DENTDonald J. Trump! The millionaire with the fuzzy blond hairstyle.  And would you believe that he got contem- poraries in the animal world, named after him, because the zoologists discovered that the had the same weird heir do on their heads – and even their bodies?  I found two: „Neopalpa donaldtrumpi“, a moth in California and Mexico. And when insecticist Vazrick Nazari found „Neopalpa“, he saw its yellowish, badly combed coiffe on top of his head and named the nightly butterfly „donaldtrumpi“. The second: In 2012 surfaced the caterpillar of another butterfly, a daylight creature, and it looked like Trump’s curl with legs! Even the color  – a butter-blond – was almost identical. Therefore it got the (unofficial) name „Trumpapillar“. I wanted to show you the two trumpy insects in the month, Donald J. became the 45th president oaf the United States …

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HIDE-AWAYS I’m Going To Tell You A Secret …

… and some people will hate me for doing it!

Pieve

This is Napoleon's bed ...

Pieve

… that's the Albergo from inside ...

Pieve

… here the hotel from outside ...

 

„ALBERGO DELL’ ANGELO“ is a historic mini-hotel in the southwestern Italian Town of Pieve di Teco. A forgotten settlement in the mountains above the Riviera, which lost 80 % of its inhabitants in the last 20 years, just 1000 are left. An old town, and wonderfully quiet – and so is the Albergo, at least 250 years in existence, naturally in the same family, and you wouldn’t believe it: The French emperor NAPOLEON SLEPT HERE – on the flight back to Paris and power from the his exile on the island of Elba. And what’s even more amazing: The original bed is since then in the original room and you might use it if nobody else has booked it! I know of no better „Liebesnest“ (Lovebirds Lair), the Albergo has eight rooms only, run by a most charming proprietor, the price per night is 76 Euro or, presently, US$, and when a friend of mine stayed there over last Christmas with his wife, they were the only – and cherished – guests. Just look at the photos: The „dell’ Angelo“ is a living museum, just look at the paintings around the bed and on the ceiling, and it’s the best hide-away I can think of. It’s not over-easy to get there, but look at the map – problems look different, from Imperia an the Mediterranean it’s no more than 21 km or 14 miles! Only fault: The breakfast is included but unbelievably lousy, avoid it (take just the coffee) and walk half a minute to the next Cafeteria …

Pieve

… and here you find Pieve ti Teco

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MOUNTAINEERING K2, The Killer Mountain …

K2

The beautiful, murderous K" ...

K2

… and the Gilkey Memorial

UNBELIEVABLE! For every 4 people who have summited the 8612 m – the second highest mountain on earth, the highest in Pakistan – another one dies! So far, 84 climbers of 27 nationalities have lost their lives. Why? The top three causes of death are 1 Falling (33 %), 2 Avalanches (18 %) and 3 Disappearance (16 %) – whatever this means (= cause unknown, body never found). And by the way: 49 climbers conquered K2 in 2014 (the latest available figure), ten lost their lives. And: K2 is the only Himalayan summit with a Monument of Rememberance, the „Gilkey Memorial“ at about 5000 m. It’s a huge heap of stones, plastered with metal plates and discs, and Tibetan „Kattas“ (blessed white shawls), each plaque-substitute with the name of one of the 84 victims. Art Gilkey was an American climber who was swept away by an avalanche while resting in his sleeping bag in 1953, and who’s body was found in 1993, 40 years later, at the base of the south face of K2.

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CURIOSITIES Wow, Look At Vanuatu …

So small, not many people – and 110 languages ...

Vanuatu

The Vanuatu archipelago ...

Vanuatu

… in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

FOR THE LING- UISTS, it’s the hotspot on earth! Because Vanuatu, this archi- pelago of 83 isles in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, formerly known as the New Hebrides, has the highest concentration of linguistic diversity on earth. It’s unbelievable: 110 languages of just 220 000 inhabitants! I tell you: The scientist fall over each other now, especially on Aneityum Island, coming the USA, England, Australia and the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila. How can this be? Why have some of the languages not died out? Why is it so, that these languages are not dialects of one speech but so entirely different, in one concentrated location? Nobody knows so far, and momentarily the scientists start to assemble a dictionary of the plant, fish, bird, landscape, wind and wave names …

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ANIMALS The Elephant Tragedy, Part 6

A succession of very sad post, written in tears ...

Elefanten

Some might be dead already ...

Elefanten

… The Garamba N. P. ...

IT’S A DRAMA, HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES, I will follow it closely and tell you from time to time all of the actual stages of the doom of these wonderful animals. Fifth chapter: Let’s visit the Garamba National Park in the (so-called) Democratic Republic of Congo. 160 rangers protect the nation’s last elephants. 13 were murdered by poachers, trying to safe the animals! There might be more victims in the meantime, but we won’t know, some forces, heavily involved in the ivory trade, release figures of casualties very reluctantly only. The country is torn between a shaky official government and the rebels of the „Lord’s Resistance Army“ (what a perverted name!), led for years by the murderous Joseph Kony, an Ugandan on whose head („Dead or Alive“) the USA put a reward of 5 million dollar.

Elefanten

…and the horrible Joseph Kony

He is the main link between the slaughter of elephants and the ivory trade for arms. Even worse: Kony enslaved, so the UN published, 66 000 (!) children for sex, trained them as killers and – most important – made „donkeys“ of them in the illicit ivory trade, dragging the heavy tusks through the jungle to meeting points with the agents of the forbidden trade. It’s questionable if there are many elephants left in this country, and – Kony’s power is spreading into Uganda and the Central African Republic as well, his army gets bigger and bigger, alongside the need for weapons, therefore he kills elephants not in one but in three countries. And does anyone really believe Knoy „exports“ the tusks on jungle paths alone? No way, he uses airports and -strips, run by governments, with the approval of corrupt and greedy politicians. Find out what I have to say from now on in my Blog, giving you the inside informations on the war between a strong but helpless creature and the weak but ruthless human killers …

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RESTAURANTS Eating Out – Since 803!

The St. Peter Stiftskeller in Salzburg is 1200 years old ...

Stiftskeller

Celebrating food in the vaults of the old monastery ...

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE YEAR 803? There were no cathedrals, Charles the Great ruled Central Europe and the Byzantine Empire the Mediterranian, the Maya blossomed in Central America and the earth was still a disc (the people believed). In in this year – unbelievable –  a gastronomical jewel was opened and is still going strong: The Stiftskeller in St. Peter’s in Salzburg (Austria), Europe’s oldest restaurant. In Europe’s oldest monastery! The ambiente alone would be worth a paid entrance ticket, the surroundings in the heart of the festival town another one. To eat here is to celebrate nourishment in a very stylish way, within walls who are older than St. Peter’s in Rome and the British monarchy. The food doesn’t matter really, it’s good, but even in the cook’s bad day, a dinner in the Stiftskeller is an optical entertainment and a strong memory. Because there might be an even older restaurant somewhere in Japan, but not in an older building in original shape. Website: www.stpeter-stiftskeller.at. Telefon: 0043 662 84 12 68.

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COMMUNICATION The Selfie Pest – Amusing …!

Look at the small but great invention of Michael Käfer of Munich ...

Bierdeckel

The window closed from inside ...

Bierdeckel

… the window from outside ...

Bierdeckel

… and me in a „Window Selfie“!

NO, NOT A BAD WORD ABOUT SELFIES! I confess, I hate them but being tolerant enough, I just ignore this cosmopolitan desease. And then I came across the „Selfie Beer Mat“, an ingenious idea of the Oktoberfest host and owner of many celebrated restaurants in Munich and other German locations, Michael Käfer. Have a close look: The usual carton disc with a diameter of 10,5 cm or 4 inches, showing a typical Bavarian farmhouse window from outside, then turn it, and you see an equally typical Bavarian sleeping room with the same window from inside – and a ladder! When seeing this, insiders immediately understand the hint to one of the oldest, nicest and most dangerous Bavarian traditions: „Fensterln“. Which means: Inside is the sweetheart in her parents home, outside her lover, ascending on the ladder and bidden inside through the open window. And now look again closely: The window on the beer mat opens! Wide enough to show one’s face. Now you stare through the window – and you get a most wonderful (and very acceptable) Selfie! I won’t burden you with the wording around the brim, it’s very Bavarian, hard to translate. And where do you get these very special communication tools? Try the website of Michael Käfer, just spell him Kaefer: kontakt@feinkost-kaefer.de

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