Countries games

This is a room for the discussion of travel plans or experiences and the culture of places you have visited or plan to visit.
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Iversen
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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:56 pm

En 2001 fui en mi primer viaje a América Central, y queria visitar Guatemala y El Salvador. En el aeropuerto de Copenhague pasé un bar con radio y allí oí por casualidad que pocas horas antes había sido un gran terremoto en el mar fuera de los dos países. Me apresuré a la oficina de Iberia y pregunté qué pretendían hacer respecto de esta situación, y me dijeron que el aeropuerto de San Salvador estaba cerrado, pero el de la ciudad de Guatemala estaba abierto - y me fui.

En El Salvador, visité la capital San Salvador y Santa Ana, y en ambos ciudades algunas antiguas iglesias habían colapsado - pero por lo demás no hubo muchos daños visibles. El desastre había afectado principalmente aldeas cerca de collinas, donde había habido deslizamientos de tierra. También me llevó alrededor del país en autobus, pués los medios de transporte funcionaron normalmente - pero no pude visitar sitios arqueológicos debido al hecho que las autoridades temían colapsos - o talvez porque estas autoridades querían demostrar que si no estaban capaces de prevenir terremotos, al menos podían tomar decisiones. Afortunadamente, el zoológico de la capital estaba abierto y yo fui allí andando desde el centro ahí abajo - lo que sugiere que no soy muy prudente. A continuación una foto de la sala de tránsito en el aeropuerto de El Salvador, llamado Oscar Arnulfo Romero (lleva el nombre de un arzobispo asesinado elsalvadoreño) - ¡por favor nótese el estado del techo!

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Iversen
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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:38 pm

Last time we passed through this part of the alphabet the letter F was illustrated by France, and we stay in Europe with FINLAND. Unfortunately I can't write this in Finnish (yet) so you have to live with a comment in Swedish - which still is spoken on the Åland islands and along a strip along the South Western coast.

Låt mig först nämna att det en gång i tiden var en järnvägsförbindelse mellan Sverige och Finland genom Haparanda och Torneå, och jag använde tåget flera gånger. I staden Kemi kan du byta till ett tåg till Polcirkeln nära Rovaniemi, och det markerats av något såsom en galge på huvudvägen men hahaha ... polcirkeln är inte der, den är nära till Jultomtebyn och flygplatsen. Det är diskutabelt om julgubben("joulupukki" på finska) faktiskt bor i Finland, men det är alldeles uppenbart att hans reklambyrå ligger där - och Rudolf med den röda mulen är troligen också inrymt någonstans i finsk Lappland (det finns inga renar på Grönland eller Nordpolen, som har nämnts som alternativa livsmiljöer och produktionsställan för julgubben).

Warning: if you visit Rovaniemi and wish to be photographed at the gallow in the roadside which marks the Polar circle, then you should be aware that the Polar circle hasn't passed the road there for a very long time. Last time I visited the area it was close to the airport, which also is close to the Father Christmas village, but you should enquire locally about its current abode if you choose to go there. And by the way, you should also visit the museum. They have runic stones there which document that some Swedish vikings have visited the Black Sea (on a one-way ticket).

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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:13 pm

It seems that I am the last one to keep this thread alive, but I quite like it - especially when we are at letters that actually are in use as first letters of country names. And so far we are in an easy part of the alphabet with G. Germany has been taken, but not GUATEMALA, which I have visited twice. As several other countries in the region it has had a somewhat complicated history, and in some parts of the country have been seen as unsafe for visitors - but I have never had reasons to complain.

Se visita generalmente Guatemala por dos razones: las nombrosas ruinas maya y la fuerte cultura indigena que se manifiesta (al menos con las damas) en el uso generalizado de trajes típicos. La colección más conocida y la más extensa de las ciudades mayas se llama Tikal y se encuentra en la esquina noreste del país, en medio de la selva y no muy lejos del lago donde viven los turistas. Los restos más antiguos datan del siglo IV el a. C, peró los edificos mas emblematicos y mas conocidos datan de la epoca de oro de la ciudad entre el 200 y el 900 d. C. Peró después de 900 d.C. la población se dispersó y la ciudad fue olvidado. A pesar del hecho que los templos son muy altos, mismo hoy en día sólo la punta de ellos elevase por encima de lor arbolas altas de la selva, y los edificios mas bajos fueron completamente enterrados por la vegetación. Había una gran zona urbana alrededor del área de los templos, pero esta está en su mayoría enterrada aún hoy.

No está cierto porque la cultura maya se haya derrumbado, peró a pesar de algunas ideas ingenuas sobre los mayas como un pueblo amante de la paz y gobernada por fabricantes de calendarios fue una cultura muy desgarrada y ensangrentada. Tal vez la gente simple simplemente estaban cansados de las guerras incesantes y de los reyes de reyes y sacerdotes que no les podían garantizar la paz y la comida. Además, hay teorías acerca de la destrucción de los recursos naturales - por ejemplo para hacer cal para los templos. Pero los arqueólogos no han podido ponerse de acuerdo sobre una de las razones. Chichen-Itza mas al Norte sobrevivió un poco más tiempo, y la ciudad de Tayasal - ubicada en una isla en el lago Petén Itzá - sobrevió el tiempo suficiente para que los españoles podían destrozarlo. Pero por lo demás - y muy inusitadamente - no es la culpa de los españoles que una cultura indiana de América Latina pereciera.

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Re: Countries games

Postby chokofingrz » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:42 am

Hong Kong / 香港
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Namnet "Hong Kong" betyder "Doftande Hamn" på kantonesiska (en dialekt av kinesiska med mer än 80 miljoner talare). Med 7,2mio människor är det Kinas fjärde största storstadsområde. Många av invånarna är lite tvåspråkig, eftersom engelska är också ett officielt språk.

Under 155 år var Hong Kong en koloni av Storbritannien. Brittiska flottan invaderade Hong Kong ö 1842 och började bygga en modern stad på öns norra kust. De använt våld och krig för att kontrollera Kineserna.

Under årtionden blev Hong Kong en världskänd centrum för handel i Asien, och mer nyligen, internationell finans.

På 1980-talet kom båda länder överens att staden och området skulle äntligen återgetts tillbaka till Kina. I 1997 tog slut brittiska regeringen, och staden blev en "särskild administrativ region" av Kina.

Hong Kong stad är en tätbefolkade metropol, men de ungefär 1000 kvadratkilometer omkring är ett tropiskt paradis med skogar, berg, stränder och öar.

Många turister kommer till Hong Kong från Kina och västvärlden. De njuter av (bland annat) att handla, besöka nattmarknaderna, åka med Star-Färjan över hamnen, åka spårvagn genom staden, och besöka parkerna eller botaniska trädgården.

Jag var där i 2013; här är ett par av mina fotor:

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Jag hoppas att ni kunde förstå mig :)
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Re: Countries games

Postby vogeltje » Sun May 15, 2016 10:29 am

Iran is also called Persia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its official language is persian. Its size is 1 648 195 km2.

A famous type of resident is the Persian Cat

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It has 19 UNESCO world heritage sites and sounds like a beautiful country.
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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Sat May 28, 2016 6:46 pm

In 1997 I booked a trip to Syria, Jordan and Israel with a small Danish travel agency. It had to cancel the tour, but offered an alternative with just Syria and Israel (except the time it would take to get through Jordan from border to border as it was -and still is - impossible to go directly from Syria to Israel). The extra time in Israel would be spent in a kibbutz. No way, I said. Either they paid me all my money back, or .. yes, there was an alternative. I would follow the group in Syria and the day they spent in Jordan, but then I would leave them and have a ball in Jordan on my own. And I would then cross the border and rejoin the group in Jerusalem the day before the flight back home. And it turned out at leaving me with a black Nissan and the original hotel reservations wasn't more expensive than having to pay my share of the salary of the guide so I was happy and the agency was happy, and I guess the Jordanians also were happy to have me as a tourist in their country instead of seeing me spend my money in Israel.

So I left the group in Jerash, got on a bus to Amman where I checked into my hotel, and the next morning a friendly person came with my car for the next week. With him as a guide I drove the machine back to his office, and then I had a problem. The only map I had of Amman was the one in Lonely Planet, and I couldn't read the small letters in English on the road signs (ok, some of the road signs) - and much less the Arabic writing including the numbers. But Amman has got a system of easily recognizable roundabouts that helped me to locate the main road out of the town towards South, and I went over Madaba and through Kings Canyon (picture) to Petra, and from there down to Aqaba before I returned back to Amman along the Dead Sea.

Of course there were a few situations where I may have been slightly in trouble. For instance I was almost out of gasoline at the Southern end of the road over Kings Canyon. My solution was to pick up a hiking beduin at the roadside. He got to his destination, and he showed me a well hidden filling station which I never would have found without his help. In the same manner I offered a ride to a soldier in the roadside when heading Northwards towards the Dead Sea, and having him in the car meant that we sailed right through all the road blocks in this sensitive area - he just made a sign to his collegues, and then we could drive on.

However the most problematic situation came when I had returned the car and slept one more night in Amman. I took a bus to the Allanby bridge, but it had been a terrible weather the night before, and the rain still poured down. So all electricity was out at the border, and the Israelis had closed it. The problem was that my plane was leaving from Lod airport in Israel the next day. So I got a taxi and with some others drove North towards another border posts just South of the Genezareth lake, which was supposed still to be open. However that taxa broke down, but then another much larger taxa came along and picked us up - and I was told that those that had hired it got the idea from seeing 'my' taxa leaving. I got into Israel, but then I faced a new problem: it was on a Saturday - the dreaded Sabbath, where all Israel comes to a grinding halt except those parts of it which is in the hands of the Arabs - or in other words: there was no public transport available from the border to anywhere in Israel. The obvious solution was to localize some Arabs who were going down to Ramallah, and there I had to change into another vehicle to get into Jerusalem itself. And there I had one last problem: my hotel was named "Aelia Capitolina", and that name was nowhere to be seen. However in another hotel I was told that the hotel actually was the local YMCA, and it didn't dare have the name "Aelia Capitolina" on its façade as this was the name Jerusalem got from the Romans after the jews had been kicked out of it. And with this piece of information I found the hotel, and inside it the rest of the travel group were sitting right at their well deserved supper as if nothing had happened, and we all flew home the next day without any more fuss.

Those of you who can read Danish can see my account of the border crossing on the homepage of my travel club.

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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:45 pm

Today's country is Kenya - and there are some reasons to believe that I also have been there. The picture is taken in an Animal orphanage in the outskirts of Nairobi. I had paid a guide a few dollars to guide me through the place, and he asked whether I would like to pat a cheetah. I calculated that he saw it as a harmless activity, and I assumed that others had done it before me - and survived. The only rule is: don't run. A cheetah can run faster than a human.

I normally don't fondle animals, and I don't have any domestic animals at home, so for me the act was as unusual as the choice of animal.

The orphanage rears young animals whose parents have been killed, and therefore the animals are more or less halftame. But I wouldn't have done the same thing with a lion.

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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:23 pm

Adam wrote:Liechtenstein ist ein kleines Land. In Liechtenstein, sie sprechen Deutsch (...)


Luxembourg ist nicht sehr viel größer, aber dort sprechen sie Deutsch und Französisch und Portugisisch und... in der Tat haben sie ihre eigene Sprache, Lëtzebuergesch, und es gibt natürlich auch ein Wikipedia in Lëtzebuergesch: "D'Lëtzebuergesch gëtt an der däitscher Dialektologie als ee westgermaneschen, mëtteldäitschen Dialekt aklasséiert, deen zum Muselfränkesche gehéiert. ".

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Re: Countries games

Postby Iversen » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:29 pm

We have reached M, and in Africa there is a country named Malawi, whose capital is called Lilongwe. Before I went there I had booked a safari in the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia from a place called Kiboko camp in Lilongwe, and that included a night before and a night after the safari in that camp. However they didn't have space for me the nights before this arrangement so I spent the first couple in a pleasant lodge in Southern end of the town.

And of course I wanted to visit the natural reserve in the center of Lilongwe. And as usual I walked. I walked from my lodge Northwards up to the reserve, through the reserve and further up to the Nortern part of the town, where you find most of the governmental buildings and upmarket touristy things, and from there I walked back along the reserve back to my lodge. I saw a fair number of birds, but no big animals in the reserve - probably the neighbours had killed and devoured everything larger than a rat. But still a nice walk and a pleasant day spent in a city with few five star sights.

When I switched to the Kiboko camp, which was very much a backpacker place, then I checked their billboard and found the following warning:

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Re: Countries games

Postby vogeltje » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:12 pm

Iversen, the stories about your travels are wonderful and amazing!!!!
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