Στήλη: Travelling-Holidays

Review of the Country Australia

By Aggelos Dedes and Stathis Konstandakopoulos (A Class)

Australia, or colloquially officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is an Oceanian country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. For at least 40,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies were established.

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On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Since Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of 23.6 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast. Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world’s 12th-largest economy. In 2012 Australia had the world’s fifth-highest per capita income. Australia’s military expenditure is the world’s 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights.

Environment

Although most of Australia is semi-arid or desert, it includes a diverse range of habitats from alpine heaths to tropical rainforests, and is recognised as a mega diverse country. Fungi typify that diversity; an estimated 250,000 species—of which only 5% have been described—occur in Australia. Because of the continent’s great age, extremely variable weather patterns, and long-term geographic isolation, much of Australia’s biota is unique and diverse. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds, and 89% of in-shore, temperate-zone fish are endemic. Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country, with 755 species.

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Economy

Australia is a wealthy country; it generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking and manufacturing.It has a market economy, a relatively high GDP per capita, and a relatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average wealth, Australia ranked second in the world after Switzerland in 2013, although the nation’s poverty rate increased from 10.2 per cent to 11.8 per cent, from 2000/01 to 2013. It was identified by the Credit Suisse Research Institute as the nation with the highest median wealth in the world and the second-highest average wealth per adult in 2013.

The Australian dollar is the currency for the nation, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. With the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange became the ninth largest in the world.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia)

Patras

By Maria Stathopoulou (A Class)

PicMonkey Collage

It’s an exciting place with many things on offer especially as far as young people are concerned. It has many places of entertainment such as cinemas, theatres, clubs, restaurants, in short, a rather cosmopolitan place with an exciting nightlife. It also has many education facilities. There is a well known university that thousands of students attend. There is a high standard of medical care as well as fast and efficient means of transport. Last but not least, there is the harbor which is among the best and the biggest in Greece.

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Patra is also famous for its carnival which is the best in Greece and among the best all over the world. Thousands of people visit Patra with a view to having fun and enjoying this exciting atmosphere to the full. I should mention that it was the cultural capital of Europe for 2006.

 

 

Florina and the Arcturos wildlife sanctuary

By Niki Argyrou-Kolotourou (A Class)

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We dropped into the Arcturos environmental center in Nymfaio while touring the wider region.

A preserved traditional settlement surrounded by forest, Nymfaio is graced by stunningly beautiful stone mansions and stone-paved tracks. The nearby Arcturos Environmental Center, an enclosed expanse covering 50 str., is located amid a natural forest of unparallel beauty and is open to visitors. It is home to 10 bears that once lived in captivity.

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Wild bears roam freely around the sanctuary, as well as further out. Arcturos is a non –profit civil partnership that lobbies to protect nature by developing actions of public awareness, environmental education and volunteerism. The environmental Center has resolved the problem of captive bears and wolves in Greece and raised public awareness about large mammals.

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An information centre operates at Nymfaio’s Nikeios School, a historic building that ranks as one of the most impressive samples of local architecture in the entire Western Macedonia region.

At the main square of the village, visit Nymfi, an outlet run by the local women’s cooperative, for marmalades, trachanas (pasta made from flour and milk), mountain tea, etc. At Kir-Yianni visitors can find exceptional Kir-Yianni label wines.

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Florina

The region’s capital and main city is a lovely urban hub that possesses its own special ambience and colour. The Florina Museum of Modern Art houses over 600 works. Megalou Alexandrou Street is lined with interesting buildings, including the renewed kafenio Diethnes, a neoclassical construction dating back to 1926. Live and graphic, with neoklasika and makedonitika houses and a small river crosses it, “city floyrion” has developed in classic wintry destination mainly thanks to the ski centre and in wild beauty nature that surrounds it. Florina known to all over the world through the films of Theodoros Aggelopoylos: “Landscape in the fog”, “the apiarist”, “the meteoro step of stork”. Also they function in the city the Pedagogic Academy (from 1941) and the department Figurative and Applied Arts of University of Western Macedonia. The archaeological Space of Hellenistic City of Florina, in the hill of Saint Panteleimona, constitutes beloved point of campaign in combination with wonderful ways into forest. The tour in Prespes and in the island of Saint Achillean, the visit in the installations of Arktoyroy in Amyntaio, as in the shelters of Wolf but also Bear, are unique experiences. The six lakes of Florina, Small and Big Prespa, Zazari, Cheimaditida, the lake of Stones and Vegoritis, give reason for excursions with ecological interest: here live two from the more infrequent species of animals in Europe, the wolf and the bear, as well as the infrequent mammal bidra.

Amyntaio vineyards

The Amyntaio region’s microclimata is particularly appropriate for making wines that meet the highest of demands, the region’s high attitude and four lakes surrounding the vine yard area being the key factors behind the area’s ideal conditions. Some of Greece’s most renewed wineries are located here, such as Kir-Yianni Estate, the Alfa Estate, the Vegoritis Winery and the Naoumidis farm where renewed Florina peppers are cultivated organically.

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