The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, is an annual tradition in Pasadena, California, that takes place every year on New Year’s day (or on Monday, January 2 if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday.) The event was started in 1890 by members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club who wanted to showcase California’s beautiful winter weather. “In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise” they said and this is how it all began. The Rose Parade is one of the most awaited events of the year and is watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the United States, either in person or on multiple television networks. The parade includes flower-covered floats, marching bands, and equestrian units. The day before the parade, the streets and the neighborhoods on the route of the parade are sealed off and reserved for the marshaling floats and bands. Continue Reading
Towering over the waterfront of Kungsholmen island Stadshuset or Stockholm City Hall flaunts its redbrick façade and 100-meter tall bell tower topped with the Three Crowns of Sweden. It is most likely the city’s most impressive…
The beautiful region of Sörmland is home to many lavish and elegant estates, vestiges of a time when wealthy landowners controlled the agricultural production of Sweden. Set on the Swedish Baltic coast, about 80…
San Simeon has gained its reputation for being home to the flamboyant Hearst Castle, but not many people know that its beach is also home to a big elephant seal colony. Until 1990, only under two dozen elephant seals could be seen here, but then something very strange happened. The next spring, over 400 seals showed up on the beach just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Why did that happen? Nobody knows, but after that the population continued to grow every year.
Today, the rookery at Piedras Blancas has more than 17,000 elephant seals. “These marine mammals spend eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1,000 to 5,000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours. They migrate thousands of Continue Reading
With its pale stone and sloping black roofs, Château de Chaumont rises above the the bald hill from which it derives its name (chauve mont meaning “bald hill”). Like most châteaux in the Loire Valley, the beautiful Chaumont was entangled in intrigue, revenge, and rivalries.
A Brief History
Château de Chaumont was initially built as a defense fortress during the 10th century by Eudes I, Count of Blois, to keep watch over the border between the counties of Blois and Anjou. In 1455, King Louis XI burned down the castle in retaliation for its owner’s involvement –Pierre of Amboise– in the anti-Royal revolt known as the ‘Ligue du bien public’. Château de Chaumont remained in the Amboise family for almost 500 years, but it was Charles I of Amboise –Pierre’s son– who rebuilt it and turned it into the beautifully ornate château that you see today. Continue Reading