Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Category Archive: Countries and cities

Scarlet Sails in St. Petersburg

Scarlet Sails in St. Petersburg

Scarlet Sails in St. Petersburg

White Nights Festival organized in St. Petersburg every year and is free to the public. The nights in the end of May are very short and you’ll see some fabulous colored skies. You’ll see some magnificent fireworks displays and hear lots of music, both classical and modem. And all this on the banks of the Neva River with the stately buildings brightly lit up.
Scarlet Sails, or Alye Parusa in Russian, is the grand finale of the festival. Amidst all the fireworks and music, a tall old-fashioned sailing ship with red sails proudly goes forth on the river. This symbolizes the end of the school year. Students from all over the world are there for the fun. Pirate ‘battles’ are enacted on the Neva, and there are rowing competitions and motorboat races. The tradition to celebrate the end of the school year began in 1968 in the City Palace of Pioneers. The show resembles a fairy tale in the real world.
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The land of the long white cloud

The land of the long white cloud

The land of the long white cloud


The night sky can glow with strange swirling lights, and the cold of winter comes when summer arrives in Russia. There are volcanoes, rivers of ice and hot lakes of extraordinary colours, forests are full of strange trees here.
New Zealand located in the Pacific Ocean. It is a country of islands. The country’s nearest neighbour is Australia, which lies more than 1,600 km northwest of New Zealand.
The country has another name, Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud” in the Maori language. The first Maori came from Polynesia and settled in New Zealand about a thousand years ago. They were excellent sailors and fierce warriors.
Abel Tasman gave the country its present name. Zeeland means “Sea Land” in Dutch.
In 1769, the English explorer James Cook claimed New Zealand for Britain.
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Pearly Kings and Queens

Pearly Kings and Queens

Pearly Kings and Queens

Pearly Kings and Queens give London its unmistakable atmosphere. They are as much a symbol of London and England as James Bond, Mr. Bean, David Beckham and Paul McCartney.
In 1875 Henry Croft started the London tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens. The boy’s parents died when he was a baby and he was put in an orphanage. It was normal for children to earn their own living in those days. When Henry was thirteen, he had to leave the orphanage and find a job. His first job was as a sweeper in the Somers ‘ own market. He soon made lots of friends amongst the local traders, called Costermongers, who sewed pearly buttons on the seams of their trousers, jackets and caps to show their status. Henry’s new friends were kind and caring and ready to help each other. Henry wanted to do something for poor people and decided to help the kids at his old orphanage.
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There was never a story sadder

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, film 1968

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, film 1968

“There was never a story sadder than that of Romeo and Juliet” William Shakespeare.
Nobody knows for sure if Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s romantic heroes, really existed, but millions of people go to Verona, Italy, to see ‘the house of Juliet’. This 13th-century house belonged to the Cappello family who had a daughter called Juliet.
Juliet Cappello was born on September 16, 1284. Probably legends and poems about her romance with a young man inspired Shakespeare to write his famous play in 1596.
Thousands of lovers from all over the world leave their love notes on the walls of the house.
There is the Juliet Club in Verona. Heartbroken men and women all over the world sent their letters to the Club. And each letter is answered!
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The richest cities in history

richest cities in history

The richest cities in history


Reflecting on today’s rich cities we imagine a picture of tall skyscrapers and modern architectural innovations. At the same time few people think that there were metropolises and rich cities in the ancient world. Most often, they were the capitals of the vast empires, for example Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire, or Xian was one of the historical capitals of China. These cities became centers of wealth and prosperity because of their connection with major trade routes. According to modern standards, they were as rich (or even richer) as some famous today’s metropolises. In fact, they were the centers of technology, art and modern amenities, allowing their residents to live in comfort.
I’d like to tell you about a few of the most powerful and very rich cities of the ancient times.
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Pharos of Alexandria

Pharos of Alexandria

Pharos of Alexandria

You have probably heard about Alexandria, the city founded by Alexander the Great. This place was famous for a unique library which contained about 500,000 manuscripts, and, of course, for a remarkable lighthouse, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
If you look up the word “lighthouse” in the French, Italian or Spanish dictionaries, you will find pharos. Pharos was the name of the island in the harbour of Alexandria where the famous lighthouse once stood. Later the lighthouse came to be known as the Pharos of Alexandria.
Why was is so famous? There are many reasons. The Pharos of Alexandria was the tallest building on Earth. It was one of the most elegant structures ever built in ancient times. Its mirror was a mystery. It fascinated scientists and filled people with awe. It could reflect the light more than fifty kilometres away. Legend says this mysterious mirror could even detect and burn enemy ships before they could reach the shore. So amazing was this structure, that it by right earned its place in the list of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But of all the wonders only the Pharos of Alexandria had a practical use.
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Very strange place – Pokaini forest

Pokaini forest

Pokaini forest

There is a strong anomalous zone in Latvia, near Riga – Pokaini forest. Riga researcher Ivar Wicks explored this area. He believed that the legendary Holy Grail is not a treasure, but the flow of cosmic energy spills into the bowl of Pokaini forest. He told reporters about the mysterious properties of the stones which are in the forest and meteorological anomalies in 1996. And shortly thereafter, the researcher died of an unknown disease. Latvian scientist – physicist Eugene Sidorov continued exploration of the strange place.
Many tourists, attracted by the rumors about the healing power of this place, make a pilgrimage to Pokaini forest.
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