ITALY: Orgosolo’s wonderful Picasso-like and protest-laden Murales

In the mountains of Sardinia is the small picturesque village of Orgosolo. And it is indeed picturesque that it resembles a small art gallery. The streets and houses are completely decorated with fascinating wall paintings, with the so-called “Murales”. The works are often interspersed with the content of the protest or with paroles and slogans, the motifs also often show political or historically important scenes. But of course there are also a lot of other themes and motifs involved and time by time some new artwork is getting added.

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LAOS: Majestic Buddha Park – Xieng Khuan

After leaving Vientiane on our way to the 4000 Islands in the South of Laos we passed a monumental and historic treasure site you shouldn´t miss if you are around. The local name is Xieng Khuan, but the English words for this area make it self-explanatory for what it’s about. The Buddha Park is a park filled up with over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. There are several Buddhas spread across the square, as well scenes from ancient legends and numerous gods and goddesses.

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ISRAEL: Photographer Dana Arieli – The Phantom Project

If you really want to get over a trauma you have to deal especially with the painful parts and even more difficult is to accept and admit own failures and unpopular reasons or relations. To ask questions and open a discussion about it is a start and can be done in many different ways. As well with a kind of informative and artistic help to sociocultural psychotherapy. The photographer and historian Dana Arieli from Israel captures the relics of the past and highlights the different aspects of dealing or not-dealing with its remains. As a history professor she is continuously introducing ancient times and gone moments to the present.

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JAPAN: Nara – UNESCO Historic Monuments of the Ancient

Many of the temples, shrines and ruins in Nara form the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”, which is announced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex includes the Tōdai-ji, the Kōfuku-ji, the Kasuga taisha, the Gangō-ji, the Yakushi-ji, the Tōshōdai-ji, and the Heijō Palace. The nearby Kasugayama Primeval Forest is also identified as part of the world heritage site and worth a visit.

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COLOMBIA: Barichara – Colonial Hormigas

Barichara is a municipality in the department of Santander and famous for its “Hormigas” – grilled and spice-flavoured ants. Yes, ANTS! Of course we tried some! The little village is located in the province of Guanentá at an altitude of about 1280 and close to San Gil. It´s a perfect dinner stop when you travel between Venezuela and Colombia. The colonial architecture is unique and well preserved. Here you can imagine how it was some centuries ago, the buildings and plazas didn´t change much. Around the city are wonderful mountains to explore, several hike routes are possible. If you are in a rush, stay the afternoon, try the Hormigas and check out the pueblo. If you have more time, stay for one or two nights.

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PANAMA: The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is an artificial, approximately 82-kilometer-long waterway that cuts through the isthmus of Panama in Central America, connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean for shipping, saving the journey around Cape Horn or the Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of South America. The canal, opened in 1914, is one of the most important waterways in the world. In 2011 and 2013 they counted about 14,300 ships driving through.

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ALBANIA: Durrës – Historic Epidamnos and Dyrrachium

After we had left Tirana our first stop was the big city Durrës at the Adriatic coast of Central Albania. Durrës is the most important port city in the country and therefore an economic centre. In terms of population, Durrës is the second largest city in the country after the capital Tirana, 30 km away, and the official seat of the Qark of the same name. Durrës and Tirana together form a metropolitan region. We could find a lot of nice street art here, but the historic buildings from antiquity and the Middle Ages, mixed with modern architecture, are also quite astonishing.

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