PHOTO: Making Paper Lanterns at the Saa Paper Festival in Thailand

The villages around the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai have long been known for the production of traditional handicrafts such as furniture, wood carvings, paper umbrellas, silk, hammered silver, jewelry, lacquerware, and Celadon ceramics. However Saa paper products, made from the bark of Mulberry trees, may be the most unique of these handmade products. Mulberry trees naturally shed their bark each year, thus the raw material used in the production of Saa paper is renewable. The bark is shredded, immersed in water, cleaned, and churned into…

PHOTO: Thai Woman at the 2018 Flower Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A women in traditional dress marches down the parade route during the 2018 Flower Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The annual event is held during on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the first week of February. The highlight of the Flower Festival is the Saturday morning parade, which features flower-bedecked floats, marching bands, and groups of men and women who, like this beautiful young woman, proudly wear their traditional ethnic garb. This woman is wearing a silk striped longyi (an ankle-length wrap-around skirt) and traditional white lace blouse,… The post PHOTO: Thai Woman…

PHOTO: Egyptian Traditional Bread Oven in Luxor, Egypt

On my way to the ancient tombs and temples in Luxor, Egypt, this woman invited me into her home to see her Egyptian traditional bread oven. The delicious smell of fresh-baked bread stopped me in my tracks as I wandered past her house. Lined up in a row on a stone bench were a dozen or so loaves of the flatbread that is so popular in Egypt. She spoke no English and I spoke not a word of Arabic, but somehow we made a connection and before I… The post PHOTO: Egyptian Traditional Bread Oven in Luxor, Egypt…

PHOTO: Ancient Streets in the Village of Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy

Ancient stone buildings mingle with brightly painted facades in the village of Mercatello sul Metauro in the Le Marche province of Italy. Located about 62 miles west of Ancona, the tiny village is home to only 1,300 residents. Some of the homes were built of stone without the use of mortar. Those that remain are becoming harder to maintain, as very few craftsmen remain who are capable of building in this manner. In addition to offering visitors glimpses down charming old streets like this one, the commune is… The post PHOTO: Ancient…

June 2017 Desktop Wallpaper

This month’s image is of the Old City of Jerusalem at Sunrise 1920×1200 | 1920×1080 | 1600×1200 | 1680×1050 | 1600×900 1440×900 | 1280×1024 | 1280×800 | 1024×768 iPad | iPhone | iPhone Plus 2560×1600 (MacBook Retina 13″) | 2880×1800 (MacBook Retina 15″) | 5k iMac

PHOTO: Tesla Cars on Display at Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates

Click on title to view photo in large format. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), shoppers flock around the new Tesla cars on display at Dubai Mall. Several Emiratis made serious inquiries about purchasing one of these revolutionary, all-electric cars. In one instance, a salesman quoted the price – a cool $176,000. According to the Tesla website for the UAE, these new models will be…

Mistaken Point

Mistaken Point: My 314th UNESCO World Heritage Site From the World Heritage inscription: This fossil site is located at the south-eastern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. It consists of a narrow, 17 km-long strip of rugged coastal cliffs. Of deep marine origin, these cliffs date to the Ediacaran Period (580-560 million years ago), representing the oldest known assemblages of large fossils…

Van Nellefabriek

Van Nellefabriek: My 315th UNESCO World Heritage Site From the World Heritage inscription: Designed and built in the 1920s, the Van Nellefabriek demonstrates an extremely accomplished industrial architecture. It comprises a complex of buildings consisting of several factories aligned along the perspective of a large internal roadway, and close to several means of transport (canals, roads, railway lines). Supported on an internal structure …

Stoclet House

Stoclet House: My 318th UNESCO World Heritage Site From the World Heritage inscription for the Stoclet House: The Stoclet House is an outstanding testimony to the creative genius of the Wiener Werkstätte. It was designed and built in Brussels from 1905 to 1911 by one of the founders of the movement, the Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann, of whose work it is the masterpiece. The Vienna Secession movement bears witness to a profound conceptual and stylistic renewal of Art Nouveau. Ever since its creation the Stoclet House has been and remains one of the most consummate and emblematic realizations …

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier: My 319th UNESCO World Heritage Site From the World Heritage inscription for The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier: Chosen from the work of Le Corbusier, the 17 sites comprising this transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of…

Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex

Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex: My 320th UNESCO World Heritage Site From the World Heritage inscription for the Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex: The Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex is the only surviving printing workshop and publishing house in the world dating back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Situated in Antwerp, one of the three leading cities of early European printing along with Paris and Venice, it is associated with the history of the…

Belfries of Belgium and France

Belfries of Belgium and France: My 316th UNESCO World Heritage Site (Belfry of Ghent shown in photo) From the World Heritage inscription for the Belfries of Belgium and France: High towers built in the heart of urban areas, often dominating the principal square, the belfries are essential elements in the organization and representation of the towns to which they belong. The site inscribed on the World Heritage List comprises 33 belfries located in Belgium (26 in Flanders and 7 in Wallonia) …

Flemish Béguinages

Flemish Beguinages: My 317th UNESCO World Heritage Site (Photo: Our-Lady Ter Hooyen, Ghent) From the World Heritage inscription for the Flemish Beguinages: The Flemish béguinages are a series of 13 sites in the Flanders Region of Belgium. They bear extraordinary witness to the cultural tradition of the Beguines that developed in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages. These Beguines were either unmarried or widowed women who entered into a life dedicated to God but without retiring from the …

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor

From the World Heritage inscription: The Silk Roads were an interconnected web of routes linking the ancient societies of Asia, the Subcontinent, Central Asia, Western Asia and the Near East, and contributed to the development of many of the world’s great civilizations. They represent one of the world’s preeminent long-distance communication networks stretching as the crow flies to around 7,500 km but extending to in excess of 35,000 km along specific routes. While some of these routes …