A Village in Cyprus Is Now Home to This 16-Foot-Tall Potato Statue


The Belfast Tourist Board recommends that visitors to the Northern Ireland city should try to see “the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience,” the century-old Belfast Cathedral, and The Big Fish, a 32-foot long ceramic statue of a salmon. 

When officials in Xylofagou, a village in Cyprus, were trying to figure out what they could do to commemorate their most famous crop, they thought about Belfast’s Big Fish. But instead of a tiled mosaic covered with stories about their city — like that oversized salmon — Xylofagou ended up with, uh, a giant fiberglass potato on a stick. 

The newly unveiled 16-foot-tall replica of the ‘spunta’ potato variety cost the village €8,000 ($9,300) to design, build, and install. “The Big Potato” has also been roundly mocked on social media for its unfortunate resemblance to, uh, a very personal body part. (No giggling, please!)

“Xylofagou has a long legacy of potato growing and used to be the main potato grower in Cyprus. This helped the village grow into the 10,000-strong community it is today,” community leader George Tasou told the Cyprus Mail. He also said that he’s “not bothered” by the social media snickering about its shape, because the sculpture has gotten some much-needed publicity for Xylophagou. 

Tasou said that the Big Potato will soon be accompanied by more decorative elements and bench seating for people who want to be photographed near the giant spud. There is also a plan to add a “kiosk offering potatoes cooked in many different ways,” and the village may eventually build a potato museum that would show potato-growing tools and pictures of the different varieties of potatoes that are grown in the region. Next year, Xylophagou also wants to set a new Guinness World Record for frying the most French fries at one time; their goal is to cook around 1,760 pounds worth. 


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Where in the World Greece


Do you recognise this hilltop monastery?

The site where the monasteries of Meteora, Greece were built, is said to serve perfectly their purpose.
The monasteries stand on some huge natural sandstone pillars that were mould into their bizarre shape by the winds and the time. Up there, the monasteries seem to hover between earth and heaven, an illusion that makes monks and visitors feel close to the celestial world. These cone shaped pillars prove the artistic nature of Nature.
According to the 19th century geologist Alexander Philipson, they were created after huge amounts of material piled up in this area where a huge prehistoric river was flowing towards a vast lake which covered today’s Thessaly.
When the waters drained into the Aegean Sea and the valley of Thessaly was revealed, these rocks emerged and the millennia along with the extreme weather conditions formed them into their today’s shape.
The first evidence of ascetic life in Meteora dates back in the 10th century, when some hermit monks chose the caves and the hollows in the pillars’ walls to lead an ascetic and reclusive lifestyle. In 1160 A.D. the “Scete of Stagoi Dhoupianis” was found, which is considered to be the first attempt of an organized monastic community.
However, it needed more than two centuries for the first monastery to be built. In 1356, Athanasios Meteoritis, a monk from Aghion Oros, came to Meteora and built on the top of the largest cliff the “Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus” or “Great Meteoron”. From then on, these huge rocks were named after this exact monastery and took the name “Meteora”, which in Greek means: an object that levitates.

Where in the World Russia


Do you know where this interesting looking building is situated?

Ganina Yama Monastery in Russia stands on the site where the bodies of the last Russian tsar and his family were thrown after their execution by the Bolsheviks. It was here in July 1918 that the bodies of the members of the Royal family, as well as their loyal servants, were brought.
The remains of Nicholas II of Russia and his family remained undiscovered for many years because the Bolsheviks quickly transferred them to a second, secret site, known as Porosenkov Ravine.
DNA from living relatives identified the remains as those of the tsar and his family, but the Russian Orthodox Church doubted the validity of the results. Declaring the site holy ground, a monastery was constructed to commemorate the deaths of these political martyrs.
The royal family and their retinue had been canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The grounds were therefore dedicated to honor the family’s humility during capture and their status as political martyrs. With financial assistance from the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company, the Church constructed the Monastery of the Holy Imperial Passion-Bearers at the site in 2001. A tall cross marks the edge of the mine shaft, visible as a depression in the ground.
Seven chapels were later constructed at the site, one for each member of the royal family. Each chapel is dedicated to a particular saint or relic. On the anniversary of the murder, a night-long service is held at the Church of All Saints (Church on the Blood) on the site of the Ipatiev House. At daybreak, a procession walks four hours to Ganina Yama for another ceremony. The former mine pit is covered with lily plants for the ceremony.

Where in the World France


On which countries coastline would you see these cliffs?

Etratat, France

The cliffs and rock formations steal the show in Etretat, thanks to their exceptional natural beauty and the fact that famous Impressionists painted them so memorably.

Erosion has created extraordinary arches in the chalk either side of the town. There’s also an amazing needle-like structure, known in French as the Aiguille.

A walk up the cliffs to the west of Etretat leads you to an 18-hole golf course with breath-taking views over the Aiguille, while a walk to the east will bring you to the Jardins d’Etretat, a beautiful Asian-inspired garden affording stunning views over Etretat and its bay across to the Aval arch famously immortalised by Claude Monet and Eugène Boudin. Head back down to the seafront as the sun goes down and you can also see Etretat’s cliffs magically light up.

However, there is more to Etretat than the cliff formations and pebble beach. The small town beyond is picturesque and full of pretty restaurants and shops, while the remarkable wooden covered market and 19th-century villa Le Clos Lupin are both worth a visit.

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Where in the World Spain


Where is this amazing city?

Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona is widely recognised as one of the most successful cities in the world, internationally acclaimed for its innovative urban planning.
It has survived the economic, environmental, and social changes of the last decades through focusing upon the provision of knowledge-based and information services to place itself in the forefront of a new urban wave, in which city planning provides high-quality opportunities for people to live and work.
In short, Barcelona has been transformed into a city that provides a highly impressive urban environment to all who visit it.
The foundation for Barcelona’s transformation has been the city’s Example district, a garden city expansion of 520 street blocks planned as long ago as 1859. Its high-quality architecture, egalitarian design and ease of access have stood the test of time and it provides the model for modern city developments today.

Where in the World Belgium


Where would you find this unreal piece of engineering?

Sart Canal Bridge, Belgium.

Weighing in at a whopping 65,000 tons, the Pont du Sart Aqueduct is located in western Belgium, near the town of Houdeng-Goegnies. This massive structure was built to carry the Centrumkanaal water channel, and is one of the longest of its kind.

For centuries, Belgians have wanted an inland waterway to connect the Meuse and the Scheldt. However, the height difference of about 96 metres (315 ft) between the two rivers would require as many as 32 locks, which was not feasible. In 1879, the Ministry of Public Works adopted a proposal by Edwin Clark which used boat lifts instead of locks. The first lift (Houdeng-Gœgnies) was built between 1885 and 1888. It was inaugurated on June 4, 1888 by King Leopold II. 

The three other boat lifts were finally finished in 1917 and put into service in 1919. There were several reasons for this delay. From 1894 to 1911, the economic need for the canal was repeatedly called into question. Then in 1914, when the three lifts were practically finished, World War I began.

The old canal could accommodate boats with a displacement of up to 350 tons.  In 1957 the Belgian parliament passed a law providing for a major expansion of the canal, increasing the maximum displacement of a boat that could use the canal to 1,350 tonnes (1,490 tons). In the event, it was decided to alter the course of the canal rather than to enlarge it along the full extent of its existing length. A defining feature of the enlarged canal was the Strépy-Thieu boat lift which replaced the four smaller boat lifts and one or two locks which had been part of the former canal.

The Canal du Centre was opened to boats with a displacement of 1,350 tonnes in September 2002. Between 2000 and 2004 the annual ship transits increased from 1,531 to 4,041 while the tonnage carried increased from 282,000 to 1,513,000.

The lifts on the old parallel canal remain in position, having in 1998 been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Where in the World Portugal


Where, what, how – anyone seen this before?

This amazing island is situated in the Azores in Portugal.

Being the largest island in the Azores, there’s so much to see and do on Sao Miguel such as kayaking, paddleboarding, diving, surfing, canyoning, coasteering, sailing, fishing, hiking, road cycling and mountain biking.

The Azores are also Europe’s number one destination for whale and dolphin watching – whether you’re looking for a dedicated week focussing on sealife or if you’d simply like to add a day-trip to your stay, and our crews are the best in the Azores.

Sao Miguel is one of the more-obviously volcanic islands in the archipelago. To east is Furnas: one of the island’s oldest calderas. There are over thirty geysers and mineral-rich springs in and around Furnas village and on the shores of it’s crater lake. It’s this hot earth and a giddy-mix of aromas from the wild aloe, the ancient cedars and the bubbling aquifers that give Furnas a semi-tropical feel. Nowhere more so than at the 200-year-old Parque Terra Nostra: home to Sao Miguel’s famous geothermal swimming pool.

To the west is the island’s largest caldera Sete Cidades – a must-see destination for most visitors to the islands for it’s extraordinary beauty. For the more energetic, Sete Cidades has an excellent variety of walking trails and cycling routes, and it’s twin-crater-lakes are a breath-taking kayaking spot.

In town, the capital Ponta Delgada is a welcoming, friendly city where everything is accessible on foot, including many of the island’s best restaurants. 

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Where in the World Germany



Where is this beautiful castle?

Eltz Castle in Germany is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle between Koblenz and Trier and is still owned by a branch of the same family (the Eltz family) that lived there in the 12th century, thirty-three generations ago. 

The castle is surrounded on three sides by the river Elzbach, a tributary on the north side of the Moselle. It is on a 70-metre (230 ft) rock spur, on an important Roman trade route between rich farmlands and their markets. The Eltz Forest has been declared a nature reserve by Flora-Fauna-Habitat and Natura 2000.

It has incomparable architecture and original furnishings from eight centuries. It offers an armory and treasury with world-class gold and silver work. It stands on a rock and still lies in the valley. It is embedded in the Eltz Forest, a nature reserve of great scenic beauty and full of rare plants and animals. It is also located in the middle of an attractive hiking area, with the award-winning dream path “Eltzer Burgpanorama” and other beautiful paths for every requirement.

The greatest attraction of Eltz Castle is its architecture: With its eight up to 35 meter high residential towers, its bay windows, roofs, half-timbered structures and peaks, it is the epitome of a knight’s castle for the spontaneous viewer, yes the “castle par excellence”

Its location is unique: hidden in a side valley of the Moselle, built there on a 70 m high rock, surrounded on three sides by the Elzbach and surrounded by a natural paradise, it alone allows the perfect medieval dream.

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Where in the World Scotland



In which country would you find this amazing cave structure?

Known as Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa, Scotland it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world.
At 72 feet tall and 270 feet deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make up its interior walls. These fractured columns form a crude walkway just above the water level so that visitors can go far inside and explore the cave.
Known to the Celts as Uamh-Binn or “The Cave of Melody,” one Irish legend, in particular, explained the existence of the cave as well as that of the similar Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. As both are made of the same neat basalt columns, the legend holds that they were the end pieces of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Finn McCool), so he could make it to Scotland where he was to fight Benandonner, his gigantic rival.
The legend, which connects the two structures, is in effect geologically correct. Both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were indeed created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have at one time formed a “bridge” between the two sites. Of course, this happened some 60 million years ago, long before people would have been around to see it. Nonetheless, the deductive reasoning of the ancient peoples formed the connection and base of the legend that the two places must be related.
One can visit the cave via cruise (though boats cannot enter the cave, they make regular passes by it) or can travel to the small island of Staffa and hike into the cave by stepping from column to column. By the way, northern shores of Staffa host a puffin colony during the summer months.

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Where in the World India



Where is this beautiful facade?

Dwarkadhish Temple in Dwarka, India, is believed to have been established more than 2500 years ago by Lord Krishna’s great grandson, Vajranabh.

The ancient temple has been renovated several times, especially leaving imprints of 16th and 19th centuries. The temple stands on a small hill accessed by 50 plus steps, with heavily sculptured walls that cocoon the sanctum with the main Krishna idol. Around the complex lie other smaller shrines. The walls have intricately carved mythical characters and legends. The impressive 43 m high spire is topped with a flag made from 52 yards of cloth that flutters in the soft breeze from the Arabian Sea behind the temple. 

It is believed that Lord Krishna arrived in Dwarka from Braj in Uttar Pradesh to build the city. The temple was established by his grandson. It is at the cusp of the Gomti River and the Arabian Sea, providing a scenic backdrop to the spiritual site. It is said that Dwarka was submerged under the sea six times and what we see now is its seventh avatar.

The temple itself has a fascinating legend. The original structure was destroyed by Mahmud Begada in 1472, and subsequently rebuilt in the 15th-16th century. It was also feted by Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century Hindu theologian and philosopher.




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