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Virunga Mountains, Africa

in Africa

The Virunga Mountains are eight volcanoes in the border area between Rwanda , Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo . The volcanoes are located between the Eduardsee and the Lake Kivu and are part of the East African grave breach . The two volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo are located, the Nyiragongo volcano (3462 m) and the Nyamuragira (3063 m). In an eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in the year 1977 2.000 people were killed. In 2002, lava flowed from the crater of this volcano and flooded the streets of the town 20 km from Goma . Most people could save themselves, there were 147 deaths, but the 250,000 inhabitants of the town of Goma were affected, some fleeing to neighboring countries Rwanda and Uganda. Even the Nyamuragira provided several times for resettlement of the population. Last flowed in 2002, simultaneously with the eruption of the Nyiragongo lava from Nyamuragira toward the Kiwusees and changed its shore structure.

Virunga Mountains National Park 550×554 Virunga Mountains, Africa Virunga Mountains National Park

At the core group includes the Karisimbi , with the largest volcano in the 4,507 m high mountain range, the Mikeno to 4437 m and the Visoke (Bisoko) with 3711 m. The eastern group includes the Sabinyo (3634 m), the oldest of the Virunga volcanoes, the Gahinga (3474 m) and the Muhabura (4127 m). The Virunga volcanoes are covered with tropical mountain rain forest and home to the rare mountain gorillas . Particular to protect the mountain gorillas, which occur elsewhere only in Bwindi National Park in Uganda, Prince Albert in 1925 founded the first African national park, the Albert National Park , in 1969 in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the National Park Virunga divided in DR Congo was.

Between the Karisimbi and Visoke is the Karisoke Research Center , a research station for mountain gorillas. The name is a combination of Karisoke names of volcanoes, which lies between the research center. It was in 1967 by Dian Fossey established.

Vilnius, Lithuania



Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. With 542 932 inhabitants (2011), it is the largest city in the country. It lies at the mouth of the Vilnia in the Neris River in a wooded area just 40 km from the Belarusian border removed. Vilnius is the Roman Catholic archbishopric, and in 1579 founded the University of Vilnius, one of the oldest university towns in Europe. She was wearing with the city of Linz the title of European Capital of Culture for the year 2009.


Vilnius was the beginning of a Baltic Foundation and was in contrast to the capitals of the Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, Riga and Tallinn, never by the Teutonic Knights controlled. It developed as the capital of Lithuania to the center of a vast empire that stretched to the height of his power temporarily from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Vilnius was since its inception as one of the most liberal cities in Europe, in the course of its history and persecuted Jews from Central Europe and Russia offered protection. “Jerusalem of the North” Vilnius was a center of Jewish culture and education. By 1900, Lithuanians presented only a small proportion of the population, according to the (Yiddish speaking) Jewish and Slavic (especially Poles and Belarusians). In the Holocaust, the city lost almost all the Jewish inhabitants, representing half of its population.

From 16 Century Italian architects created numerous buildings in the Baroque style, and Vilnius still has one of the most extensive old towns in Eastern Europe, by the UNESCO for World Heritage Site was declared. In the 20th Century, the area of ​​Vilnius controversial because of its ethnic composition, and after a referendum in 1920, annexed by Poland in 1939 and returned to Lithuania. Due to the over 50 churches in the city Vilnius bears the nickname “Rome of the East”. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the city at least four church towers.

Victoria Falls, Zambia – Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls are a waterfall of the Zambezi River on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia , between the border towns of Victoria Falls and Livingstone . By UNESCO in 1989 to the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site declared.The first Europeans who discovered the falls was David Livingstone , Scottish missionary and African traveler. He heard them in 1851 and discovered it four years later, on 16 November 1855. He named it in honor of Queen Victoria Victoria Falls .

The local Kololo called the falls Mosi-oa-Tunya (in German: the smoke that thunders ). The name comes from the mist that rises up to 300 meters and still be seen in 30 km distance. It arises because pour the waters of the Zambezi River to a width of 1708 m over a 110 m steep rock face. Thus, the Victoria Falls on the widest part cascading waterfall in the world. During high water flow up to 10,000 m³ / s of water down the waterfall, as opposed to 170 m³ / s during the dry season. To the Victoria Falls, there is a rain forest , which owes its existence to the moisture from the ever-lasting spray. Not only in February and March, when the Zambezi River takes a lot of water, the largest curtain of water on earth is present. At low tide – as it happens, especially in drought years and over again – is in September and October from the noise of the amount of water left only a small trickle.

The cross-border and 68.6 km ² Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park has been protected since 1934 and reported since 1972 as a zoological park. It lies above the Victoria Falls, which he covers is opened up by good routes and has many large animals. In addition, the Victoria Falls are in the area of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area , a planned cross-border conservation area.

After his appointment as World Heritage by UNESCO were also conflicts as to the use of hydroelectric energy potential on the Zambezi. The development of the river as an energy source because it forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, both bordering countries of great importance. So the plans Zambezi River Authority below the falls to build another dam at the Batoka Gorge. This would be in addition to the Kariba Dam and the Cabora Bassa Dam project on the third major dam Zambezi. By conservationists warning it was regarded as the unique flora and fauna in the previously undisturbed canyon. With the damming of the river so close to the cases they fear only harms the natural environment and changes in the gorges below the falls and declines in the lucrative tourism business.



in Asia

Vietnam is a Socialist People’s Republic in Southeast Asia . It is bordered to the north by China and the west by Laos and Cambodia . After the turbulent and marked by wars and rebellions from 1945 until the end of American War (as the Vietnam War called in Vietnam) in 1975, while the country has over 10 years, almost completely closed off to the outside. In 1986, then after a severe economic crisis, the reform Đổi moi (renovation) has been tackled. The main points of this reform, the gradual economic opening to non-Communist countries, the withdrawal from Cambodia , decentralization and liberalization of the economy and also gradual privatization.


Through this step, the Vietnamese Communist Party, even after the collapse of the Soviet bloc to hold their power until today and the reforms can bring about strong economic growth that continues today. The experienced virtually non-existent before the opening of tourism since the early 90s a real boom. In the last ten years the number of tourists has doubled.


For an entry visa is required, which are usually applied for before departure must. There are single entry visa (single entry) and Multiple Entry / Re-entry Visa (multiple entry) with validity up to three months. Only for package holidays, it is partly possible by a Vorbestätigungsnummer a visa upon arrival at the airport to receive. The visa can in Germany, directly at the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the Federal Republic of Germany may be requested. There is an application form available for download. This is filled in, provided with a passport photograph and send, along with the passport, and a stamped addressed envelope and the visa fee to the embassy. The fee for a three-month single entry visa is € 64.00 (as of 12.2010), with multiple entry € 100.00 (as of 10.08.2010). These should be obtained before applying to the embassy in a particular case. The processing time is approximately one week.


According to the travel and safety information of the German Federal Foreign Office provides a visa on arrival, which often offered on the Internet for tourists dar. no possibility of entry One can also require a visa in Thailand or Cambodia get, if you want to enter by land. In Phnom Phen take to get a visa officially two days and costs $ 30, in Vientiane, you pay 50-60 dollars for a month. For a fee (experience level five dollars) but you can pick up the visa the same day, the morning when you’re in the Vietnamese Consulate.


The official language is Vietnamese ( tiếng Việt ); it the Latin alphabet is used with six accents. There are 54 ethnic minorities, some of which use their own languages ​​and dialects. In tourist areas there is no problem to communicate with English. Especially in the south, there are many people who have acquired their knowledge of English during the war. The importance of French as a foreign language has subsided. It is (especially in Hanoi) and not at all unlikely to meet Vietnamese who speak very good German (mostly former contract workers in the GDR). There is also talk tourist guides, the German.


Basic food is number one in Vietnam as in most Asian countries, rice (Vietnamese Com ), which is usually eaten with meat and vegetable dishes. Another specialty of Vietnam are the soups and stews ( Phở : classic noodle soup, HU Tieu : variation with small rings noodles). Vietnam is also a paradise for lovers of fish and seafood. The main spice in Vietnamese cuisine is the fish sauce nước mắm , which spread a raw nose something for the west to get used to smell, but the dishes a distinctive, almost addictive flavor. Because they smell next to the still slightly corrosive effect, prohibited the carrying of nước mắm on flights of Vietnam Airlines.


There are restaurants serving Western food only in Saigon and Hanoi and in the more important tourist places. Preferred to eat in the kitchens, which are on almost every corner, and usually specialize in a particular court. If that’s the face of sometimes difficult to hygiene should be assessed somewhat suspect, also adheres to the very favorable rice or soup restaurants that are popular with the locals. In general, it is advisable to go by where the locals eat. Then, the restaurant is really good and authentic.


These remind us Westerners often at a slaughter house: the walls and floor are made of white tiles, chrome highlights, the tables and stools made of plastic, the whole thing with fluorescent lights. If the floor with food waste and paper towels is covered, this means that the restaurant has a lot of customers, which is an indication of good food again, the Vietnamese are eating too important for that they would settle for something that does not taste . The Vietnamese cuisine is very diverse and most dishes are light and easily digestible. Nevertheless, you should have a dictionary at hand when the menu is not available in English. On the one hand, probably do not like all the boiled chicken feet or duck eggs are fit, on the other hand, are often a very good food is not recommended, because the staff thinks that all Westerners may only fried rice with egg.

Vernazza, Italy

in Europe

Vernazza is a town in the province of La Spezia in the region Liguria in Italy. This is one of the localities that make up the Cinque Terre. Continuing eastward, after Monterosso, Vernazza is reached. The site is perched on a small rocky promontory, and once the most prosperous of the Cinque Terre. The castle of the family Doria and other medieval relics recall its rich economic past. Near the small harbor, the parish church of St Margaret of Antioch, flanked by a high octagonal tower, overlooking the sea The village is inaccessible by road.


The principal means of access are the train and coastal paths, very steep. Typicality of Vernazza in fact yet a major tourist destination in Liguria. On October 25, 2011, Vernazza was hit by torrential rains, floods and massive mudslides that left the town buried in more than four meters of mud and debris, causing over 100 million euros in damage. The town was evacuated.

Venice, Italy

in Europe

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy on the Adriatic coast. It is the capital of Veneto and the province of Venice and is nicknamed La Serenissima (“The Serene”). At 31 December 2010, there were 270.884 inhabitants in Venice. In the 2006 census, the city had 268.934 inhabitants, of which 176.621 were living on the mainland, 61.611 in the historic center (Centro Storico) and 30.702 more within the lagoon. The historic center covers more than 100 islands and is also located in the lagoon between the mouths of the Po to the south and the Piave is located in the north. The area of the city is, according to official data exactly 414.573211 km², it is 257.7256 km² of water surface.


About a thousand years the city was Venetian Republic is one of the most important political and economic powers, and one of the largest European cities, ending its independence until 1797th Your needle, the politically dominant, temporarily put the largest intermediary between Western Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, the city benefited from dar. trade in luxury goods, spices, salt, wheat, developed at the same time the largest financial center.

Venice and its lagoon are since 1987 on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. They have worked very often inspiring to artists, while Venice is one of the most visited cities by tourists. With the resulting revenue, one tries to aging and of frequent flooding (acqua alta) to redevelop the city and threatened her to open up next to the traditional means of livelihood new.


In the Veneto, but also in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in the Trentino and Istria is spoken alongside Italian has its own language, as the Venetian is known. Since 28 March 2007, it is – at least from the Veneto Regional Council – recognized as a language. Here comes the venesiàn (Venetian) on a significant variety, which is spoken in Venice. It is one of the Western Romance languages ​​and different in pronunciation, sentence structure and vocabulary in some cases very strongly from the standard Italian.

Vatican City, Italy

in Europe


The Vatican City State, also briefly Vatican, Vatican City or Vatican called, is the smallest generally recognized state of the world. He is an enclave in Italy within the urban area of Rome, has an area of 0.44 square kilometers and about 830 inhabitants. On the territory of Vatican City include the St. Peter’s Basilica, the Saint Peter’s Square, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican palaces and gardens within the walls.


The Vatican City is an absolute elective monarchy, the head of the Pope’s. This is supported by the cardinals elected for life. The Holy See as a non-governmental, independent from the Vatican City to distinctive subject of international law represents the tiny country on the international level. Of the current (2011) 993 people who live in the Vatican, 572 have the Vatican citizenship, which is awarded only temporary and bound to a function. They never replaced the “natural” citizenship.


The official residence of the popes until the 14th Century, not the Vatican, but the Lateran Palace. “Vatican” designated first one on the right bank of the Tiber nearby hill (mons Vaticanus). There was in the ancient world of the circus of the Emperor Nero, in the martyrdom and executions of many Christians and Jews are said to have taken place. North of the circus was a small cemetery, where supposedly the apostle Peter was buried. Soon afterward, a memorial was built there, and the 4th Century, Emperor Constantine erected in its place a large tomb church – the first St. Peter’s Church. The Vatican became the central shrine of worship Peter. In the following centuries caused more buildings on the hill, above all so-called scholae, the pilgrims of different nationalities offered accommodations, chapels and cemeteries, but who also have military installations. Under Leo IV were in the middle of the 9th Century, larger fortifications erected around the entire sanctuary (Leonine city).

Valletta, Malta

in Europe

Valletta is the capital of the Republic of Malta. It is the smallest area of the capital of a European Union member state. Because of its cultural wealth Valletta was founded in 1980 as a monument to the overall list of UNESCO world heritage listed.

The city is considered one of the bestgesicherten the world because it is by a ring of bastions surrounded. The southern entrance through the big gate is from St. James and St. Johns Cavalier covered. Clockwise to follow the saints named, only outwardly acting bastions Michael, Andrew, Salvatore, Sebastion, Gregory, the Fort St. Elmo, Lazarus, Barbara, Anthony and James. At the time of Knight’s domination on the island was known as one of the tongues of the Order of Malta for their defensive responsibility.


Valletta is located on the northeast coast of the island and is located on the headland Mount Sciberras, which of the two largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean, Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour is enclosed. Valletta is bordered to the south-west to the neighboring town of Floriana. In the longitudinal direction (northeast-southwest), the Republic Street (formerly Queen’s Street) and the parallel Merchants Street of old, the main shopping streets.


The official name given to the Order of Malta to the city once was, Humilissima Vallettae Civitas (The most modest city of Valletta) after Jean Parisot de la Valette, the then Grand Master of the Order. As a city of the mighty bastions and Baroque buildings, and the splendor of the late Grand Master, she was the Superbissima be to the reputation of the most magnificent of all European cities. In Malta Valletta is colloquially known as Il-Belt refers to something very simple, the city does.


The population of Valletta was less stable over the years and now live only a third as many people in the city such as weddings too demographic. This process was started by the Second World War accelerated, as people moved into the surrounding suburbs to avoid the attack focus. But even today, when Valletta Malta’s commercial and administrative center, this development is to watch. However Valletta with 12 815 inhabitants per square kilometer of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Vaduz, Liechtenstein

in Europe

Vaduz is the capital and royal seat of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The municipality of Vaduz’s seat of state government and the Archdiocese of Vaduz. Vaduz is particularly well known in his capacity as an international financial center. Vaduz was first mentioned in 1150. The name of Vaduz is either Romanic origin (avadugt = “water line”, from Latin aquaeductus) or developed from Valdutsch – from Latin. vallis (= “valley”), and Old-Highdutch. : diutisk (= “German”).

1932 Vaduz was awarded the Prince of Liechtenstein was the first municipality a coat of arms, which was replaced in 1978 by the current. The crest is divided into four sections : in the two red, diagonally opposite fields (fields two and three) is a silver Montfortsche church flag (with three Hängel and three rings) is shown. These are the arms of Werdenberger derived. The other two fields, one silver and four point to the red “princely” – a stylized crown, as a sign of quality residential city.

Liechtenstein itself has no freeways, however, leads the Swiss A13 along the left side of the Rhine. Vaduz has with the exit at the St. Gallen municipality Sevelen, a motorway nearby. The station Schaan-Vaduz is the nearest railway station with a regional connection. The stations Sargans, Buchs SG, and Feldkirch each have international connections and are using public buses, the Liechtenstein Bus Authority (LBA) to reach directly. The rest of the municipality in the Principality are by public transport easily accessible. The municipality of Vaduz offered in late 2009 over 9,000 jobs. Is known in particular the International financial center of Vaduz, it is often forgotten that many international industrial companies in Vaduz or Liechtenstein come from the rest. These include, inter alia, Hilti AG or Hoval. In addition, many state institutions headquartered in Vaduz. Examples include the Liechtenstein National Police, the Liechtenstein Grammar School or the University of Liechtenstein.

Universal Studios Japan

in Asia

Universal Studios Japan based in Osaka , Japan is one of three Universal Studios theme parks, is owned and operated by USJ Co., Ltd. ( TYO : 2142 ). The park is similar to Universal Orlando Resort , since it contains many of the same rides. Most visitors are Japanese tourists or tourists from other Asian countries as the Republic of China and South Korea .


In 2005, Goldman Sachs became the largest shareholder of Universal Studios Japan. Universal still has a small minority in the park. The park opened on March 31, 2001. 11 million people joined Universal Studios Japan in its first year of operation, the hit faster than any park reached.

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