Category Archives: Travel

Sky View Of Tomakomai 

iPhoneOgraphy – 21 Dec 2016 (Day 356/366)

Tomakomai (苫小牧市 Tomakomai-shi) is a city and port in Iburi Sub prefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the largest city in the Iburi Sub prefecture and the fifth largest city in Hokkaido.

As of February 29, 2012, it had an estimated population of 174,216, with 83,836 households and a population density of 310.27 persons per km² (803.60 persons per sq. mi.). The total area is 561.49 km² (216.79 sq mi).

The name of Tomakomai is derived from Ainu word “to” and “mak oma nay”, meaning “Marsh” and “River which goes into the depths of the mountain”.

In year 1873 The village of Tomakomai was founded. Later in year 1918 Tomakomai village became Tomakomai town and lastly in year 1948 Tomakomai town became Tomakomai city.

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Let’s Go Skiing

iPhoneOgraphy – 18 Dec 2016 (Day 353/366)

A ski is a narrow strip of semi-rigid material worn underfoot to glide over snow. Substantially longer than wide and characteristically employed in pairs, skis are attached to ski boots with ski bindings, with either a free, lockable, or partially secured heel. For climbing slopes, ski skins (originally made of seal fur, but now made of synthetic materials) can be attached at the base of the ski.

Originally intended as an aid to travel over snow, they are now mainly used recreationally in the sport of skiing.

The word ski comes from the Old Norse word “skíð” which means stick of wood or ski.

In Swedish, another language evolved from Old Norse, the word is “skidor” (pl.).

English and French use the original spelling “ski”, and modify the pronunciation. Prior to 1920, English usage of “skee” and “snow-shoe” is often seen. In Italian, it is pronounced as in Norwegian, and the spelling is modified: “sci”. Portuguese, German and Spanish adapt the word to their linguistic rules: esqui, Schier (a German plural of Ski) and esquí. Many languages make a verb form out of the noun, such as “to ski” in English, “skier” in French, “esquiar” in Spanish, “sciare” in Italian, “skiën” in Dutch, “esquiar” in Portuguese or “schilaufen” (as above also Ski laufen or Ski fahren) in German.

Finnish has its own ancient words for skis and skiing. In Finnish ski is suksi and skiing is hiihtää. The Sami also have their own words for skis and skiing. For example, the Lule Sami word for ski is “sabek” and skis are “sabega”. The Sami use “cuoigat” for the verb “to ski”. The term may date back to 10,000 years before present.

The oldest wooden skis found were in what is today Russia (c. 6300-5000 BCE), Sweden (c. 5200 BCE) and Norway (c. 3200 BCE) respectively.

Nordic ski technology was adapted during the early 20th century to enable skiers to turn at higher speeds. New ski and ski binding designs, coupled with the introduction of ski lifts to carry skiers up slopes, enabled the development of alpine skis. Meanwhile advances in technology in the Nordic camp allowed for the development of special skis for skating and ski jumping.

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Hoshino Resort Tomamu

iPhoneOgraphy – 17 Dec 2016 (Day 352/366)

Ski mountaineering is a skiing discipline that involves climbing mountains either on skis or carrying them, depending on the steepness of the ascent, and then descending on skis. There are two major categories of equipment used, free-heel Telemark skis and skis based on Alpine skis, where the heel is free for ascents, but is fixed during descent. The discipline may be practiced recreationally or as a competitive sport.

Competitive ski mountaineering is typically a timed racing event that follows an established trail through challenging winter alpine terrain while passing through a series of checkpoints. Racers climb and descend under their own power using backcountry skiing equipment and techniques. More generally, ski mountaineering is an activity that variously combines ski touring, Telemark, backcountry skiing, and mountaineering. It is planned by the Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA), to make ski mountaineering by itself part of the 2018 Olympic Games.

Military patrol was an official event at the 1924 Winter Olympics, followed by demonstration events at the 1928 Winter Olympics, in 1936 and in 1948. Military patrol is considered to be a predecessors of the biathlon.

From 1992 to 2009, the Comité International du Ski-Alpinisme de Compétition (CISAC), founded by France, Italy, Slovakia, Andorra and Switzerland, sanctioned the European Championship. Then the CISAC merged with the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competitions in 1999, which in 2008 became the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF).

Outside Europe, international championships started with the 2007 South American Ski Mountaineering Championship and the 2007 Asian Championship of Ski Mountaineering. The 2012 North American Ski Mountaineering Championship was the first edition of a North American Championship of Ski Mountaineering, sanctioned by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association.

A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. In Europe, most ski resorts are towns or villages in or adjacent to a ski area – a mountainous area with pistes, ski trails and a ski lift system. In North America, it is more common for ski areas to exist well away from towns, so ski resorts usually are destination resorts, often purpose-built and self-contained, where skiing is the main activity.

Ski areas have marked paths for skiing known as runs, trails or pistes. Ski areas typically have one or more chairlifts for moving skiers rapidly to the top of hills, and to interconnect the various trails. Rope tows can also be used on short slopes (usually beginner hills or bunny slopes). Larger ski areas may use gondolas or aerial trams for transportation across longer distances within the ski area.

Ski areas usually have at least a basic first aid facility, and some kind of ski patrol service to ensure that injured skiers are rescued. The ski patrol is usually responsible for rule enforcement, marking hazards, closing individual runs (if a sufficient level of hazard exists), and removing (dismissing) dangerous participants from the area.

Some ski resorts offer lodging options on the slopes themselves, with ski-in and ski-out access allowing guests to ski right up to the door. Ski resorts often have other activities, such as snowmobiling, sledding, horse-drawn sleds, dog-sledding, ice-skating, indoor or outdoor swimming, and hot tubbing, game rooms, and local forms of entertainment, such as clubs, cinema, theaters and cabarets. Après-ski (French: after skiing) is a term for entertainment, nightlife or social events that occur specifically at ski resorts. These add to the enjoyment of resort-goers and provide something to do besides skiing and snowboarding. The culture originated in the Alps, where it is most popular and where skiers often stop at bars on their last run of the day while still wearing all their ski gear. People that browse ski resort & hotel websites will commonly seek mention of the quality of après-ski in the area, and such information is often found. It is therefore seen as an important factor for skiers to consider before booking a holiday. The concept is similar to the nineteenth hole in golf.

Though the word ‘ski’ is a derivation of the Old Norse ‘skíð’ via Norwegian, the choice of French is likely attributed to the early popularity of such activities in the French Alps, with which it was then linked.

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The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

iPhoneOgraphy – 22 Jun 2016 (Day 174/366)

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a five-star luxury hotel located near the mouth of the Singapore River, in the Downtown Core of Central Area, Singapore. It was originally known as The Fullerton Building, and also as the General Post Office Building. The address is 1 Fullerton Square.

The Fullerton Building was named after Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits Settlements (1826–1829). Commissioned in 1919 as part of the British colony’s centennial celebrations, the building was designed as an office building by Major P.H. Keys of Keys & Dowdeswell, a Shanghai firm of architects, which won the project through an architectural design competition. The architectural firm also designed the Capitol Theatre and the Singapore General Hospital.

The northern end of the building covers the site of Fort Fullerton, a fort built in 1829 to defend the settlement against any naval attacks. In 1843, the fort was extended after a sandstone monolith, the Singapore Stone, with an inscription possibly dating back to the 13th century was demolished. A fragment of this monolith was salvaged and preserved in the collection of the National Museum at Stamford Road. The fort gave way to the first General Post Office and the Exchange Building in 1874. Plans to erect Fullerton Building were drawn up in 1920. However, due to a lack of funds, construction only began in February 1924. Built at a cost of $4.1 million and after delays of a few months, the building was completed in June 1928.

The Fullerton Building was opened on 27 June 1928 by the Governor, Sir Hugh Clifford, who suggested the building be named after Robert Fullerton. The building had five founding tenants: the General Post Office, The Exchange, Singapore Club (now Singapore Town Club), the Marine Department, and the Import and Export Department (later the Ministry of Trade and Industry). It also housed the Chamber of Commerce, and various government departments dealing with agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

The General Post Office (GPO) was the anchor tenant, which only moved in a fortnight after the Fullerton Building’s official opening. GPO covered the two lower floors with postal halls, offices and sorting rooms. There were mail drops through which mail would fall to a band conveyor on the basement and dispatched up to the sorting room. The basement was connected to a 35-metre subway that ran underneath Fullerton Road to a pier, where overseas mail would be transferred to or picked up from ships.

In the last days before Britain’s surrender to Japan in 1942, the building was used as a hospital, with makeshift operation rooms for wounded British soldiers. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, Governor Sir Shenton Thomas and Lady Thomas sought refuge in the sleeping quarters of the Singapore Club. The Fullerton Building was also where General Percival discussed with Sir Shenton the possibility of surrendering Singapore to the Japanese. Subsequently, Fullerton Building became the headquarters of the Japanese military administration in Singapore.

From the 1970s to 1995, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore used the building as its headquarters. The General Post Office, under Singapore Post, vacated the building in March 1996. Internal alterations were carried out on the building by the Public Works Department in 1985. Though plans were initiated to conserve the Fullerton Building after that, it was only gazetted as a conservation building by the Singapore Government in 1997.

In 1997, Sino Land (Hong Kong) Company Ltd, a sister company of Far East Organization, acquired the Fullerton Building from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). It spent close to another S$300 million converting Fullerton Building into a hotel and building the two-storey commercial complex One Fullerton opposite Fullerton Road. Renovation works on the Fullerton Building were completed on 8 December 2000. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore was officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on 1 January 2001.

The site, sandwiched between the Civic District and the central business district, was sold together with an underpass and the seafront site on which One Fullerton now stands for S$110 million. The two are linked by an air-conditioned underground pedestrian walkway with travellators. To ensure that the historical Fullerton Building continues to be visible from Marina Bay, URA specified a low building height for One Fullerton across the road. This also ensured that guests at The Fullerton Hotel would have unobstructed views of the sea.

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Theatre’s On The Bay 

iPhoneOgraphy – 21 Jun 2016 (Day 173/366)

Esplanade – Theatre’s on the Bay, also known as the Esplanade Theatre or simply The Esplanade, is a 60,000 square metres (6.0 ha) performing arts center located in Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River. Named after the nearby Esplanade Park, it consists of a concert hall which seats about 1,800 and a theatre with a capacity of about 2,000 for the performing arts.

In 1989, the Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Ong Teng Cheong, produced a report assessing the status of arts in Singapore. The report would form the blueprint for cultural policy in Singapore, and led to the establishment of the National Arts Council and National Heritage Board. The report noted a lack of suitable performance arts venues; for example, Victoria Theatre was deemed only suitable for small to medium-sized performances, while Victoria Concert Hall was similarly lacking in its seating capacity and stage size. It recommended that a new performing arts centre be built, and in 1992 the Singapore Arts Centre (now known as “Esplanade Co Ltd”) was established to build the Esplanade.

The name for the centre was revealed in 1994. It was named after Esplanade due to its significant presence in the Esplanade Park.

Planning for the construction of the centre started in 1992, headed by the Singapore Arts Centre Co. Construction officially started on August 11, 1996, with a groundbreaking ceremony officiated by then Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Tony Tan. The Esplanade occupies the site of the former “Satay Club”, a popular food haunt for Singaporeans which had been discontinued prior to the Esplanade’s construction. The “Satay Club” had been relocated next to Sembawang Shopping Center, before closing down.

The Esplanade was developed at a cost of about SGD 600 million. It was completed in February 2001, the centre was officially opened on 12 October 2002, by the then President of Singapore S.R. Nathan.

The building was designed by two architectural firms working in conjunction: by DP Architects (DPA) of Singapore and the London-based Michael Wilford & Partners (MWP), although the latter left the project in May 1995. The design consists of two rounded space frames fitted with triangulated glass elements and sunshades, which balance outward views with solar shading.

The original design, presented to the public in 1994, consisted of unadorned glass cases over the theatres, and initially elicited criticisms from the public, including calling it “two copulating aardvarks”. Critics also accused that the design is insensitive to Singapore’s location and climate as it would have created a greenhouse in the tropical climate of Singapore, but according to DPA director Vikas Gore some form of shading was always intended, and a cladding of aluminium sunshades was added to the final design. The unique architectural design has been said to have an appearance similar to either a durian (a tropical fruit) or the eyes of a fly. Hence, the building is colloquially known to locals as “the big durians”.

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Singapore Downtown Core

iPhoneOgraphy – 20 Jun 2016 (Day 172/366)

The Downtown Core is the historical and downtown epicenter of the city-state of Singapore. It is one of the eleven planning areas located within the Central Area, which is often colloquially known as “The City”. As the financial heart of Singapore, the Downtown Core houses the headquarters and offices of numerous corporations, as well as the Singapore Exchange. The area is also home to a large number of governmental institutions, notably the seat of Parliament and the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Singapore’s modern history began in this area, when Stamford Raffles and representatives of the British East India Company landed along the banks of the Singapore River to set up a free port in Southeast Asia. As the old harbour grew along the mouth of the river bank, the city naturally expanded around it, creating what is now the Central Area.

The name “Downtown Core” remains relatively unheard of and the term Central Business District (CBD) is commonly used in conversation instead. However, the area known as the CBD actually compromises a smaller area within the Downtown Core itself, taking up the south-western and western portions of the planning area. It is made up of seven subzones, Anson, Cecil, Clifford Pier, Maxwell, Phillip, Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar. The core of the CBD has since extended well beyond its boundaries and the term is even often at times used to refer to the Central Area as a whole.

As a fledgling colony, the area which is now known as the Downtown Core was the financial, administrative and commercial centre of the colony. In 1823, Singapore was reorganised according to the Raffles Plan of Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles, which specified elements like the Commercial Square (now Raffles Place) and the European Town as well as various other commercial and administrative entities located between them. This area later became the Downtown Core.

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The Castle Tower

iPhoneOgraphy – 10 Jun 2016 (Day 162/366)

A fortified tower (also defensive tower or castle tower or, in context, just tower) is one of the defensive structures used in fortifications, such as castles, along with curtain walls. Castle towers can have a variety of different shapes and fulfil different functions.

Square or rectangular towers are easy to construct and give a good amount of usable internal space. Their disadvantage is that the corners are vulnerable to mining. Despite this vulnerability, rectangular towers continued to be used, and Muslim military architecture generally favoured them.

Wall towers, also known as mural towers, provide flanking fire (from crossbows or other projectile weapons) to a straight part of the curtain wall. Corner towers enfilade the two adjoining wall faces. If corner towers are far apart, additional flanking towers may be added between them. Towers in an outer curtain wall are often open at the back.

Particularly large towers are often the strongest point of the castle: the keep or the bergfried. As the gate is always a vulnerable point of a castle, towers may be built near it to strengthen the defences at this point. In crusader castles, there is often a gate tower, with the gate passage leading through the base of the tower itself. In European castles, it is more common to have flanking towers on either side of the gatehouse.

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The Horseshoe Arch

iPhoneOgraphy – 09 Jun 2016 (Day 161/366)

The horseshoe arch, also called the Moorish arch and the Keyhole arch, is the emblematic arch of Islamic architecture. Horseshoe arches can take rounded, pointed or lobed form.

Horseshoe arches are known from pre-Islamic Syria where the form was used in the fourth century CE in the Baptistery of Mar Ya’qub (St. Jacob) at Nisibin. However , it was in Spain and North Africa that horseshoe arches developed their characteristic form. Prior to the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Visigoths used them as one of their main architectural features. The Visigothic form was adopted and developed by the Umayyads who accentuated the curvature of the horseshoe and added the alternating colours to accentuate the effect of its shape. This can be seen at a large scale in their major work, the Great Mosque of Còrdoba. This style of horseshoe arch then spread all over the Caliphate and adjacent areas, and was adopted by the successor Muslim emirates of the peninsula, the taifas, as well as by the Almoravids, Almohads and the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, although also lobed, round, pointed and multifoil arches were also used at that time. The Mozarabs also adopted this style of arch into their architecture and illuminated manuscripts.

Horseshoe arches were also used in the Mosque of Uqba, in Kairouan and, in a slightly pointed form, in the Mosque of Muhammad bin Khairun, Tunisia. Mudéjar style, developed from the 12th to the 17th centuries, continued the tradition of horseshoe arches in the Iberian Peninsula which had been started in the 7th century by the Visigoths.

In addition to their use across the Islamic world, horseshoe arches became popular in Western countries at the time of the Moorish Revival. They were widely used in Moorish revival synagogues. Horseshoe arches are also a feature of Indo-Saracenic architecture, a style associated with the British Raj.

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The Kellie’s Castle

iPhoneOgraphy – 08 Jun 2016 (Day 160/366)

Kellie’s Castle (sometimes also called Kellie’s Folly) is a castle located near Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia. The unfinished, ruined mansion, was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie Smith. According to differing accounts, it was either a gift for his wife or a home for his son. Kellie’s Castle is situated beside the Raya River (Sungai Raya) which is a tributary to the Kinta River.

William Kellie Smith (1870—1926) was born in 1870 in Kellas, Moray Firth, Scotland. In 1890, at the age of 20, he arrived in Malaya as a civil engineer. He joined Charles Alma Baker’s survey firm, who had won concessions from the state government to clear 9000 hectares of forests in Batu Gajah, Perak. With the substantial profits made from his business venture with Baker, Smith bought 1,000 acres (405 ha) of jungle land in the district of Kinta and started planting rubber trees and dabbled in the tin mining industry.

In time, he named his estate Kinta Kellas after his home farm “Easter Kellas” and went on to own the Kinta Kellas Tin Dredging Company as well. With his fortune made, he returned home to marry his Scottish sweetheart, Agnes, and brought her over to Malaya in 1903. They had a daughter named Helen the following year.

In 1909 Smith built his first mansion, “Kellas House”, and in 1915 with the birth of his son and heir Anthony he started planning for a huge castle with Scottish, Moorish and Indian architecture. He brought in 70 craftsmen from Madras, India. All the bricks and marble were imported from India, too. Included in the plan for the 6-storey tower was Malaya’s first elevator, an indoor tennis court and a rooftop courtyard for entertaining.

During construction, a virulent strain of Spanish Flu struck his workmen. When his workmen approached him to build a temple nearby, Smith readily agreed. In return for his generosity, they built a statue of him beside the other deities on the temple wall. It is believed that a tunnel was built to the temple from the castle.

Smith’s mansion is accessible from the main road across a bridge over a stream. His house was so unique that it was even mentioned in the London Financier newspaper on 15 September 1911.

William Kellie Smith died at the age of 56 of pneumonia during a short trip to Lisbon, Portugal in 1926.

William’s wife was devastated and decided to move back to Scotland. In the end, Kellas House, later known as Kellie’s Folly or Kellie’s Castle, was sold to a British company called Harrisons and Crosfield.

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European Palace Garden

European Palace Garden one of the tourism place at Taiwan Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, it is a worth to go place with a beautiful garden full with flower at its surrounding.

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop.

The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, the hill which housed the Imperial residences in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the term is also applied to ambitious private mansions of the aristocracy. Many historic palaces are now put to other uses such as parliaments, museums, hotels or office buildings. The word is also sometimes used to describe a lavishly ornate building used for public entertainment or exhibitions.

The word “palace” comes from Old French palais (imperial residence), from Latin Palātium, the name of one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The original “palaces” on the Palatine Hill were the seat of the imperial power while the “capitol” on the Capitoline Hill was the religious nucleus of Rome. Long after the city grew to the seven hills the Palatine remained a desirable residential area. Emperor Caesar Augustus lived there in a purposely modest house only set apart from his neighbours by the two laurel trees planted to flank the front door as a sign of triumph granted by the Senate. His descendants, especially Nero, with his “Golden House” enlarged the house and grounds over and over until it took up the hill top. The word Palātium came to mean the residence of the emperor rather than the neighbourhood on top of the hill.

“Palace” meaning “government” can be recognized in a remark of Paul the Deacon, writing c. AD 790 and describing events of the 660s: “When Grimuald set out for Beneventum, he entrusted his palace to Lupus” (Historia Langobardorum, V.xvii). At the same time, Charlemagne was consciously reviving the Roman expression in his “palace” at Aachen, of which only his chapel remains. In the 9th century, the “palace” indicated the housing of the government too, and the constantly travelling Charlemagne built fourteen. In the early Middle Ages, the palas was usually that part of an imperial palace (or Kaiserpfalz), that housed the Great Hall, where affairs of state were conducted; it continued to be used as the seat of government in some German cities. In the Holy Roman Empire the powerful independent Electors came to be housed in palaces (Paläste). This has been used as evidence that power was widely distributed in the Empire; as in more centralized monarchies, only the monarch’s residence would be a palace.

In modern times, the term has been applied by archaeologists and historians to large structures that housed combined ruler, court and bureaucracy in “palace cultures”. In informal usage, a “palace” can be extended to a grand residence of any kind.

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