Showing posts with label islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label islands. Show all posts

Madagascar Independence Day - June 26

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off Mozambique in East Africa. It includes the island of Madagascar, which is the fourth largest island in the world, and a large number of smaller peripheral islands.
Madagascar has a very diverse variety of animals and plants. According to continental migration theory, the island of Madagascar belonged to the Gondwana continent, which separated from India about 88 million years ago, causing local plants and animals to develop in isolation. As a result, in Madagascar you will find animals and plants unique only to her. Over 90% of the wildlife in Madagascar is not found anywhere else on earth.
In the photo: a cute lemur living in Madagascar

The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. On June 26, 1960, Madagascar gained independence from France, which had ruled it since 1885.
The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo, and it is also the largest city (about 2.1 million inhabitants). In total, Madagascar has about 26,000,000 inhabitants.
In honor of Madagascar's Independence Day, get the best reasons to travel there and spend your next vacation there:

1. The natural swimming pool at Isalo National Park
Madagascar has so many amazing views. In the Oslo National Park you will see some of them and also be pampered in the cool and pampering natural water pool.

Source: Follow your plan
2. Ile Saint Marie 
The coast of Madagascar is a tropical paradise. The island of St. Mary, also known as Nosy Boraha, is a 57-mile-long granite island off the east coast of Madagascar. The island used to be a hiding place for pirates so you can visit there in their cemetery. The island is full of tropical vegetation, has a wonderful coral reef (it is a highly recommended dive point) and is also home to the hampback whales that come to it during their breeding season and stay there for over four months.
mada-photo The humpback whale
3. The Hot Springs of Antsirabe
Antsirabe is the third largest city in Madagascar. It is located 167 km south of the capital Antananarivo in a mountain range 1500 meters above sea level. Due to the high location Antsirabe is the coldest city in Madagascar and the temperature in winter can reach 0 degrees Celsius. Its markets are vibrant and colorful, as everywhere on the island.
4. The Baobab trees
The baobab trees are best known for Antoine de Saint-Exupery's book, The Little Prince. In Madagascar you will see them a lot because these amazing trees are part of the natural vegetation.

Baobab trees in Madagascar meltour.voyages

5. Railway of Fianarantsoa-Côte Est
The railway was built by the French when they ruled the island, between 1926 and 1936. It will take you on an amazing journey through some of the most endangered habitats in the world, by cyclones, floods and mudslides. Many of the trains traveling on this line still bear their date of manufacture from 1893. Maintaining the train helps prevent deforestation of 97,400 acres. The train is still running, but the line is suffering from disruptions due to broken rails caused by cyclone storms and obsolescence.
6. Antennarivo
Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar and is located on a mountain ridge in the Antananarivo district in the heart of the country. Antananarivo, called Tana for short, is a beautiful city full of colorful houses and streets, markets, parks and gardens. It is recommended to visit it at the Queen's Palace, the market and the botanical gardens.

7. Tsingy Rouge Red Tsingy Park
The red tsingi is a red stone formed by the erosion of the Irodo River in the Diana region of northern Madagascar. It is located about 60 km south of Antsiranana near the city of Sadjoavato.
8. Our Lady of La Salette Cathedral, Antsirabé
Not all Madagascar wonders are the product of nature's creation. The cathedral of Antsirabe was built as a small clay church in 1900 by a French priest. At the beginning of the 20th century, the missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette arrived and upgraded it to a church 22 meters long, 16 meters wide and 8 meters high, with a 14 meter high bell tower. In 1921, with the establishment of the Diocese of Antsirabe, the church was rebuilt for the growing Catholic community in Madagascar. Today the length of the church is 60 meters, its width is 16.77 meters and its height is 14 meters. The height of its bell tower is 45 meters.
Antsirabé Cathedral from the inside, photo source: vincekbz
9. The special animals of Madagascar
Among the special animals in Madagascar you can meet the lemurs, which are the official animal of the island, the fossa, which is a reddish brown predator that resembles both cat and mongoose, the panther chameleon that lives in the forests of Madagascar, which is one of the largest chameleons, frogs, crocodiles , Butterflies, insects and more.
panther chameleon
10. Girls of the Sakalava tribe
The people of Madagascar are known as warm and kind people, and among them are different and fascinating ethnic groups with traditional tribal customs. One of the ethnic groups are the Sakalava tribe. The number of members of the tribe is estimated at about 600,000. Their name means "the people of the long valleys." They live mainly along the western end of the island of Toliara in the south to Sambirano in the north.

10. Andasibe-Mantadia National Park 
The park, also known as the Perinet Special Reserve, is located about 100 kilometers east of the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. In the park you will meet the indri, the largest breed of lemur, and other animals. The most worthwhile hours to visit in the park are the morning hours, when the lemurs are alert and active and you can hear their cries from all sides.

A visitor to the park is pampered by Lamour who fell in love with her Chelsea Nowlin

Besides there are lots of other good reasons to come to Madagascar, like its beautiful tropical beaches, nice people, insane nature and more. To get to Madagascar you need an entry visa.
Flag of Madagascar

June 26 is also Beauticians' Day and 

Iceland Day - June 17

Iceland National Day is an annual holiday in honor of the founding of the Republic of Iceland celebrated on June 17, 1944.
This date also marks the end of the centenary of Danish rule in Iceland.
Iceland is an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, located between Greenland, Norway and Scotland, northwest of the Faroe Islands.
Iceland is among the least densely populated countries in the world. Its area is 103,000 square kilometers, but its population is only about 358,780 people, half of whom live in the capital Reykjavik.
The holiday date was chosen to also celebrate the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, a central figure in Icelandic culture and leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement.

Iceland National Day celebrations
Icelanders celebrate the national day in processions in urban areas, with traditional clothing, against the backdrop of Icelandic folk music and waving Icelandic flags. After the official ceremonies that include speeches of course, the joyous celebrations begin, with lots of music, food and drink and great joy.
Women dressed in traditional Icelandic attire in the capital Reykjavik (Source)

In honor of Iceland's National Day, here are some interesting facts about it:

Iceland has a good football team, which qualified for the international finals of Euro 2016 and reached the quarterfinals. In the summer of 2017, she qualified for the 2018 World Cup. The current ranking of the Icelandic national team in FIFA's ranking list is 40th in the world, as of April 4, 2019. This is a good achievement for a country with so few people. Icelanders also have a unique sport Called "Glíma" - a type of wrestling that originated in Viking.

The national bird of Iceland is the puffin, a sea parrot, which obtains its food mainly by diving into the sea. Papin has a large beak that turns red or orange during the breeding season, and at the end of the season it sheds it and is left with a more modest beak. In Iceland it is customary to eat the sea parrot and its eggs.
Image by Mario Liebherr from Pixabay
The official language of Iceland is Icelandic, which evolved from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings.

Iceland has no family names. They use patrons, the name of the father and then add the name of the son or daughter. Sometimes they use matrons (the mother's name). All first names they give to their children must be approved by a national naming committee that does not usually approve foreign names.

Iceland is the first country in the world to have served as a declared (and gay in general) lesbian prime minister. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir served as Prime Minister of Iceland from 2009 to 2013.

The summer days in Iceland are very long and the light lasts until midnight. In winter, the Northern Lights appear in Iceland, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) illuminate the sky in colors ranging from green to red and blue.

Many tourists come to Iceland to see its wildlife: huge glaciers and waterfalls (like Dettifoss Falls), volcanoes and geysers. In recent years, tourism has also developed in Iceland during the winter season, and tourists come to the hot baths and snowmobile rides on the glaciers.

Dettifoss Falls, the most powerful waterfalls in Europe (Source)
Iceland has also been producing good pop and rock music since the 1980s. Among the artists who have received international recognition coming from Iceland are the singer Bjork, the rock band Sigur Rós, the band Múm, the singer Emilíana Torrini and the band Of Monsters and Men.

June 17 is also Apples Strudel Day

Canary Islands Day - 30 May

Canary Islands Day (in Spanish: Día de las Canarias) is a public holiday in the Canary Islands, an autonomous community belonging to Spain, which falls on May 30 each year. 
This event celebrates the culture of the islands and people, and also marks the anniversary of the first meeting of the Parliament in the Canary Islands on May 30, 1983.   
The Canary Islands are a group of seven inhabited islands that form an archipelago (also called the Canary Archipelago) in the Atlantic Ocean, near the southwestern coast of Morocco.

In the past, the islanders were the Guanchians who made their living from fishing, picking fruit, farming and raising sheep. 
In 1402 the Spanish conquest began, and ships began to arrive in search of slaves and treasures. The Guanchians resisted the Spanish conquest, which lasted about 100 years and ended in 1496, when the natives surrendered and were annexed to the kingdom of Cecilia (Spain).
The conquest of the Canary Islands was characterized by the enslavement of the islanders, the destruction of their culture and the domination of Christianity. The inhabitants of the original islands had to assimilate into the Christian population or be killed. The islands were an excellent strategic place for traders to go to India, Africa and America, which brought prosperity to many of those who survived the occupation.
On August 10, 1982, the islands were granted the status of an autonomous community.

Canary Islands Flag
Some elements of the original cultures have survived to this day. One interesting element is Silvu, a language in which instead of talking - whistling. Today the language is almost extinct and can be heard in a few places in the islands, for example on the island of La Gomera. 
Today's Canary Islands live mainly from tourism. The islands are full of sunny and exotic beaches, and spectacular views. There are many volcanoes on the islands, some of which are active, nature reserves of needle forests and subtropical forests, the shores of dunes and streams.

Copyright: tonobalaguer / 123RF Stock Photo  A beach on Lanserote Island
The islands that make up the Canary archipelago are: La Palma, Tenerife, Lanserote, El Aero, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Puertaventura. 
The largest island is Tenerife, which covers 2,059 square kilometers and has about 908,000 inhabitants.

A street in Santa Cruz on the island of La Palma, Copyright: tonobalaguer / 123RF Stock Photo

Mauritius Independence Day - March 12

On March 12, Mauritius, an island nation in the southwestern Indian Ocean belonging to African countries, celebrates its independence from Britain in 1968.
Mauritius flag
Here are some interesting fun facts about Mauritius:

Mauritius is home to about 1.2 million people and its capital city is Port Louis, home to about 150,000 residents.

Mauritius is a country with a democratic regime and its official language is English. Other languages ​​spoken by the residents: French and Creole.

Mauritius today is a stable and prosperous country in terms of tourism.

The national animal: legendary extinct Dodo.

The area of ​​Mauritius is 2,040 square kilometers, and it has a coastline about 150 km long, all of which are stunning white sandy beaches.

Mauritius has picturesque towns and villages, ancient military ruins and spectacular waterfalls.

The island of Mauritius is a volcanic island. It was formed by volcanic activity more than 8 million years ago.

The highest mountain on the island is the "peak of the Little Black River", the piton de la petite riviere noire, and is 828 meters high.

Mauritius is the most densely populated country on the African continent and also one of the most prosperous and rich countries on the continent.

Things to do in Mauritius 
Visit the Caudan Waterfront, the main shopping and entertainment center in Port Louis (link).
Visit the Post Museum, where you can see the famous "Blue Mauritius" stamp, which is the first stamp printed in Mauritius in 1847. The stamp shows Queen Victoria on a blue background.
Visit the "Seven Coloured Earths" in the village of Chamarel, a place where there are sand dunes in seven different colors: red, brown, purple, green, blue and yellow. It is an attraction that attracts many tourists, located in the Chamarel Plain, River Noir district, southwest of Mauritius.
Visit the La Moran Peninsula southwest of Mauritius and watch the breathtaking scenery. Climb the basalt cliff Le Morne Brabant. The cliff rises to a height of 556 meters. Between the 17th and early 19th centuries there were escaped slaves found on the island and on a hiding cliff on the caves in the secluded and inaccessible mountain.
Go to the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden: Explore the tropical gardens, see the giant water lilies and pet the giant turtles.

Swim with dolphins in Tamarin Bay.
Visit the fishing village of Cap Malheureux in the north of the island.
Visit Hindu temples: Hinduism is the main religion on the island with almost half of the population of Mauritius belonging to this religion.
And sleep in a stunning turquoise seafront hotel (Link)

March 12 is also Plant a Flower Day

Solomon Islands Independence Day - July 7

Solomon Islands are an island nation in the Pacific Ocean east of Papua New Guinea.
The country belongs to the British Commonwealth (which includes 54 independent states) and is headed by the Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II. 
On July 7, 1978, the country declared independence from Britain.

The islands are named after the biblical king Solomon. The Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira discovered them in 1568. He thought he had reached islands of great wealth and therefore named them after the name of the rich King Solomon.
The Solomon Islands consist of a chain of about 990 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The total land area of the islands is 28,400 km2. Some of the islands are very isolated. The distance between the westernmost island and the easternmost island is about 1,500 km. Some islands have volcanoes of varying degrees of activity. Many of the small islands are sand-covered coral islands and palm trees.

The population of the Solomon Islands, as of July 2018, was 660,121. The capital of the Solomon Islands is Honiara, with a population of about 65,000. Honiara is home to the University of the South Pacific.
5% to 10% of locals have natural blond hair despite their dark skin color. Researchers at Stanford University have found that the blond hair of Solomon Islands residents is the result of a mutation in a single gene, unlike many Europeans, whose genetic basis is responsible for the blond hair color.

The natives of the Solomon Islands were previously notorious among other islanders because of their head-hunting customs and cannibalism.

The traditional culture of the Solomon Islands is passed down from father to son. Most of the residents live in the villages and maintain a traditional way of life. Although most of them are Christians, the origin of their ancient customs is in belief in ancient spirits.

English is the official language of the Solomon Islands, but only 2% of the people speak it. Instead, it has a variety of different languages from the Maltese, Micronesian and Polynesian language groups. The lingua franca ("the bridge language ", the language in which people who speak different languages are able to speak to each other) is English creole, Solomons Pijin.
Flag of Solomon Islands
Tourism in the Solomon Islands is very undeveloped and almost non-existent. Its most touristy island is the island of Gizo where you can find spectacular dive sites.
The tourists who come to the island are mostly people who live in the Oceania region, like Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. In the Solomon Islands you can find wonderful beaches and lively dive sites. Opposite the Solomon Islands there are also dive sites where ships and equipment that sank during World War II are located.

Children in Honiara, Solomon Islands (Source)

Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands located on Guadalcanal Island, has a museum and botanical gardens. On the islands you can join guided walking tours in the rainforests, where you can see many reptiles and butterflies, bats, birds and amphibians. On the island of Malita you can walk on the battlefields of World War II.
Solomon Islands Airport is 13 km from Honiara and regular flights arrive from New Zealand and Australia.
In case you decide to travel to Solomon Islands, you will need to get preventative medication against the malaria disease prevalent in extensive areas of the islands.

July 7th is also Day of telling the truth

Seychelles Independence Day - June 29

The Republic of Seychelles is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located 1,600 kilometers east of the African continent, northeast of Madagascar.
The Seychelles has neighboring island states: Mauritius and Reunion (belonging to France) to the south, and the Maldives to the northeast. Seychelles is a tiny country, with a total size of 455 square kilometers, but it attracts many tourists every year who want to enjoy the good life that this tropical paradise has to offer.

The first documented evidence of the arrival of man in the Seychelles is from 1505, when Portuguese sailors came to the islands who were mostly pirates. In 1756 the French captured the islands and named them after the then French Minister of Finance, Jean Moro de Seychelles.
In 1814, after many years of struggles for control of the Seychelles between the British and the French, the islands passed to the British and became the colony of the British Crown. It was not until 1976, on June 29, that the country gained independence from Britain.

The languages spoken in the Seychelles are English, Seychellois Creole and French, the languages used by the islanders during the history of the change of government in it.
Tourism in the Seychelles
The capital of the Seychelles is Victoria and is located on the northeast side of the island of Maha. Near the city is the Seychelles International Airport. 
Most transport between the islands is by ferry. On island roads vehicles travel on the left side (as in England, Australia and Japan).
Tourists love the Seychelles because of the stunning white beaches with huge coconut fruit and turquoise calm sea, the vibrant and colorful little town of Victoria, the huge sea turtles, the secluded quiet corners as opposed to the bustling resorts.
Those who love sporting activities will find in the waters of the Seychelles diving and snorkeling activities in the coral reefs, or swimming with turtles. On the island itself you can climb the rocks and visit the beautiful botanical gardens, the National Museum of History, the colorful market of Victoria, the Val de Mai Reserve, the Arid Island Reserve and the Il Coco Reserve.

In the video: Praslin Island, the second largest island in the Seychelles, 
located about 53 km northeast of Mahe. 

Seychelles flag
The Seychelles flag was officially adopted on June 18, 1996. The colors of the flag symbolize the future and development of the country. Here is the meaning of each color: blue - the sky and the sea that surrounds the island. Yellow - the sun, which gives the light of life. Red - the people, and their work towards unity and love. White - social justice and harmony. Green - the environment, vegetation, soil and resources.
The local Creole cuisine mainly includes spicy fish and seafood.
The Seychelles Independence Day celebrations are spent by the residents on an official day off, with the families on picnics and trips, and at night the sky is lit up with spectacular fireworks.

A giant turtle on La Digue Island Source

Hotel pool in the Seychelles Source

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