Treating Mum to a lovely lunch on a sunny, mild Autumn day!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme.
Methoni (Greek: Μεθώνη, Italian: Modone) is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and 11 km west of Foinikounta. The town is also known by the Italian name Modone, as it was called by the Venetians. Its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its beaches (including Tapia, Kokkinia and Kritika) and its historical castle.
Methoni has been identified as the city Pedasus, that Homer mentions under the name “ampeloessa” (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven “evnaiomena ptoliethra”, that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named after either the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, and mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotis there. It was an important city in Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine times.
The Venetians had their eye on Methoni since the 12th century, due to its location on the route from Venice to the Eastern markets. In 1125, they launched an attack against pirates, who had captured some Venetian traders on their way home from the east, and who were inhabiting Methoni at that time. The Venetians took over the town in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and secured recognition from the neighbouring Principality of Achaea through the Treaty of Sapienza (1209). A Roman Catholic bishop was installed in the local see.
The Venetians fortified Methoni, which developed into an important trade centre with great prosperity. Methoni became the important middle station between Venice and the Holy Lands, where every traveler stopped on their way to the East. A pilgrim who went by in 1484 admired its strong walls, the deep moats and the fortified towers. Nowadays the walls of the fortress, even though in ruins, continue to be impressive. The castle of Methoni occupies the whole area of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. Its north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat separates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians built on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.
The castle of Methoni rises deserted and isolated today. When the winter winds hit its walls the locals say that you can hear the screams of the prisoners and the unjustly killed in the dungeons.
Kaysersberg is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. The inhabitants are called Kaysersbergeois. The name means "Emperor's Mountain" in German. The high fortress that dominates the city serves as a reminder of both its strategic importance and its warlike past.
Kaysersberg was the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965), theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician. Together with the rest of Alsace-Lorraine, Kaysersberg was part of Germany during the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War. Kaysersberg is one of the finest wine growing areas in Alsace. The first vines were brought here in the 16th century from Hungary, and wine production is still an important aspect of the town’s economy today. Wine produced from the Pinot gris variety is a local specialty.
We visited Kaysersberg in 1999 during an extended holiday in the Alsace-Lorraine region and we enjoyed the trip immensely. The photographs are original digital ones, but they have been taken with an early model Olympus digital camera so excuse the poorer quality. They are a wonderful reminder of our holiday there.
Turnera subulata is a species of flowering plant in the Passifloraceae family known by the common names white buttercup, sulphur alder, politician's flower, dark-eyed turnera, and white alder. Despite its names, it is not related to the buttercups or the alders. It is native to Central and South America, from Panama south to Brazil. It is well known in many other places as an introduced species, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, several other Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Florida in the United States. It is commonly cultivated as a garden flower.
This plant is a perennial herb growing from a thick taproot and woody stem base. It reaches a maximum height around 80 cm. The leaves are roughly oval in shape with toothed edges. The undersides are glandular and coated in white hairs. The upper surfaces may be somewhat hairy, as well. The leaves are up to 9 cm long. Flowers occur in the leaf axils, borne in calyces of hairy, glandular sepals. The petals are rounded to oval, the longest exceeding 3 cm. They are white or yellowish with darker bases. The dark patches at the bases are nectar guides. The centre of the flower is rough, said to feel like a cat's tongue. The fruit is a hairy capsule containing seeds with white arils. The seeds are dispersed by ants, who are likely attracted to their high lipid content.
This plant has uses in traditional medicine. It is used for skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory ailments. In Brazil, the plant is made into cough syrup, and the roots are said to be good for dysmenorrhea. Laboratory tests showed it has some inhibitory activity against various fungi, such as Candida glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Candida albicans.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси), is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia. It is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic, comprising twelve provinces, one autonomous republic and a capital city. Uzbekistan is bordered by five countries, Kazakhstan to the north; Tajikistan to the southeast; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.
Once part of the Turkic Khaganate and later Timurid Empires, the region that today includes the Republic of Uzbekistan was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads. The area was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, and in 1924 what is now Uzbekistan became a bordered constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991 (officially celebrated the following day).
Uzbekistan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country's official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in the Latin alphabet and spoken natively by approximately 85% of the population; however, Russian remains in widespread use. Uzbeks constitute 81% of the population, followed by Russians (5.4%), Tajiks (4.0%), Kazakhs (3.0%), and others (6.5%). A majority of Uzbeks are non-denominational Muslims. Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favour of domestic "import substitution".
Illustrated is Bukhara, which is a city-museum, with about 140 architectural monuments. The nation's fifth-largest city, it had a population as of 31 August 2016 of approximately 247,644. Humans have inhabited the region around Bukhara for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long served as a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. UNESCO has listed the historic centre of Bukhara (which contains numerous mosques and madrassas) as a World Heritage Site.
COVID-19 is still at large and wreaking havoc with our lives, not least our travel plans. Local travel and tourism is fortunately an option here in Melbourne, with many places in Victoria still offering a wealth of options for local tourists both in the metropolitan area, as well as further afield, daytripping!