World’s countries 2012

The World in 2012 still officially contains 195 countries.  Taiwan is still not on the list as it officially a province of the People’s Republic of China, even though it has relations with over 100 countries.   The newest created countries include South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 and Montenegro which became a country in June

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Notting Hill Carnival: Europe’s biggest street festival

The Notting Hill Carnival taking place in West London each year is Europe’s biggest street festival.  For two days at the end of the month of August, the members of the West Indian community flock the streets of Notting Hill in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for one of the biggest celebration on the planet.   The carnival has lived in the area since the 60’s and is today attracting over a million people a year.  If you are looking for a vibrant celebration, with plenty of sound systems for street dancing and numerous Caribbean food stalls serving up jerk chicken, then the Notting Hill Carnival is the place to be.

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Best of Stockholm: sights, map, images and video

Stockholm is considered the capital of Scandinavia, being the region largest populated metropolitan area with over 2 million inhabitants.  It is the economic, cultural and administrative centre of Sweden, with over a fifth of the country’s population.  It was founded in the 12th Century and has since become one of the key cities in Europe. 

Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North, best known for its remarkable natural beauty surrounded by clean open water and an abundance of green spaces.  The city is composed of 14 islands and interconnected by more than 50 bridges, sitting at the mouth of the Lake Mälaren which flows into the Baltic Sea.  It is a part of the Stockholm archipelago consisting of over 24,000 islands and islets. 

Stockholm also offers splendid medieval architecture with its terracotta and saffron coloured buildings especially around the well preserved historical island of Gamla Stan.  As the royal and political center of Sweden it is home to the Swedish monarch, the national government, the Parliament and the Supreme Court.  The city is also famous for its world class museums such as Skansen, Vasamuseet and the Nationalmuseum, as well as for its sleek designs.

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