Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 69 miles (111 km) south-west of London and 15 miles (24 km) west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, which is a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651. The city’s name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to “So’ton” or “Soton”, and a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.
Significant employers in the city include Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton, Solent University, Southampton Airport, Ordnance Survey, BBC South, the NHS, ABP and Carnival UK. Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more generally in the World War II narrative as one of the departure points for D-Day, and more recently as the home port of a number of the largest cruise ships in the world. Southampton has a large shopping centre and retail park, Westquay. In 2014, the city council approved a neighbouring followup Westquay South which opened in 2016–2017.
In the 2001 census Southampton and Portsmouth were recorded as being parts of separate urban areas; however by the time of the 2011 census they had merged apolitically to become the sixth-largest built-up area in England with a population of 855,569. This built-up area is part of the metropolitan area known as South Hampshire, which is also known as Solent City, particularly in the media when discussing local governance organisational changes. With a population of over 1.5 million this makes the region one of the United Kingdom’s most populous metropolitan areas. (www.wikipedia.com)
The Romans who inhabited the area bestowed the name Vicus on the handsome city known today as Vigo. Since that time, it has flourished and developed into a scenic port city rich in maritime traditions and gastronomic culture, and one that appeals to seasoned and newbie travelers alike.
Being a major fishing port, Vigo has an abundance of fresh seafood, which is arguably the highest quality in Galicia. And apart from the food, the city has several art galleries and museums, water sport activities and sites.
The old town, a small charming neighborhood, has traditional buildings and narrow, winding streets. Its four original plazas, Plaza de Pedra, Plaza Princesa, Plaza Almeida and Plaza Constitución. Plaza Constitución is the largest of the four and is quite possibly the most beautiful with its outdoor cafés and antique buildings.
Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal, and is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities of Western Europe. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with striking modernism and progressive thinking. As a holiday destination, Lisbon offers a rich and varied history, lively nightlife and is blessed with a glorious year-round climate.
Lisbon city perfectly reflects the Portuguese culture, which embraces modern culture whilst maintaining its unique heritage and traditions. Lisbon is constantly recognised as one of the greatest cities in the world, a claim confirmed by the “Lonely Planet Guides”, which named Lisbon as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit. Surprisingly enough, it still is one of the least visited capital cities in Europe.
Ibiza (Catalan: Eivissa) is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. It is 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the city of Valencia. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. Its largest settlements are Ibiza Town (Catalan: Vila d’Eivissa, or simply Vila), Santa Eulària des Riu, and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Its highest point, called Sa Talaiassa (or Sa Talaia), is 475 metres (1,558 feet) above sea level.
Ibiza has become well known for its association with nightlife, electronic dance music that originated on the island, and for the summer club scene, all of which attract large numbers of tourists drawn to that type of holiday. Several years before 2010, the island’s government and the Spanish Tourist Office had been working to promote more family-oriented tourism, with the police closing down clubs that played music at late night hours, but by 2010 this policy was reversed. Around 2015 it was resumed.
Ibiza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ibiza and the nearby island of Formentera to its south are called the Pine Islands, or “Pityuses”
Though primarily known for its party scene, large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and thus protected from the development and commercialization of the main cities.
A notable example includes the Renaissance walls of the old town of Ibiza City which were awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999, they are one of the few world’s Renaissance walls that were not demolished, and part of the medieval wall is still visible. “God’s Finger” in the Benirràs Bay, were there are one of the most beautiful sunsets, as well as some of the more traditional Ibizan cultural sites such as the remains of the first Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta. Other sites are still under threat from the developers, such as Ses Feixes Wetlands, but this site has now been recognised as a threatened environment, and it is expected that steps will be taken to preserve this wetland.
Because of its rustic beauty, companies and artists alike frequently use the island for photographic and film shoots. A monument (“The Egg”) erected in honour of Christopher Columbus can be found in Sant Antoni; Ibiza is one of several places purporting to be his birthplace. (www.wikipedia.com)
Palma de Mallorca, since December 2016 Palmais the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain. It is situated on the south coast of Mallorca on the Bay of Palma. The Cabrera Archipelago, though widely separated from Palma proper, is administratively considered part of the municipality. As of 2018, Palma de Mallorca Airport serves over 29 million passengers per year.
The Plaça d’Espanya is the transport hub of Palma. The Estació Intermodal caters for buses and trains (the latter controlled by TIB). The two old buildings are home to the tourist information centre and several cafés sit either side of the two large escalators which lead into the Estació, which sits underneath a large and popular park. On the lawns are several glass boxes, which let in light and ventilation to the station below ground. There are also train-themed playing structures, each one shaped like a train carriage and named after towns along the line of the Ferrocarril de Sóller, a railway dating back to 1911 which has its Palma Station right next to the park. Just down the street from here a new bus station is under construction. At the centre of the plaza is a statue of James I, Conquistador of Majorca
Palma is famous for La Seu, its vast cathedral built on a previous mosque which was built atop an original Christian church. Although construction of the present Cathedral began in 1229, it did not finish until 1601. Local architect Antoni Gaudí was drafted in to restore the building in 1901. The Parc de la Mar (Park of the Sea) lies just south, overlooked by the great building which sits above it on the city’s stone foundations. Between the two are the town walls.
The rocks located a short walk from the cathedral are a place of calm and tranquility (www.wikipedia.com)
Barcelona is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to numerous neighboring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people, making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative center of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and many international sport tournaments.
Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic center in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial center. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; and it was leading Spain in employment rate in that moment.
In 2009 the city was ranked Europe’s third and one of the world’s most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe’s fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe’s principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 40 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe. (www.wikipedia.com)
Cartagena (Spanish pronunciation: [kaɾtaˈxena]; Latin: Carthago Nova) is a Spanish city and a major naval station located in the Region of Murcia, by the Mediterranean coast, south-eastern Spain. As of January 2011, it has a population of 218,210 inhabitants being the Region’s second largest municipality and the country’s 6th non-Province capital city. The metropolitan area of Cartagena, known as Campo de Cartagena, has a population of 409,586 inhabitants.
Cartagena has been inhabited for over two millennia, being founded around 227 BC by the Carthaginian Hasdrubal the Fair as Qart Hadasht (Phoenician, meaning ‘New Town’) the same name as the original city of Carthage. The city had its heyday during the Roman Empire, when it was known as Carthago Nova (the New Carthage) and Carthago Spartaria, capital of the province of Carthaginensis. It was one of the important cities during the Umayyad invasion of Hispania, under its Arabic name of Qartayannat al-Halfa.
Much of the historical weight of Cartagena in the past goes to its coveted defensive port, one of the most important in the western Mediterranean. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and is home to a large naval shipyard.
The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together with the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one in Mérida, an abundance of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains, and a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, a result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Cartagena is now established as a major cruise ship destination in the Mediterranean and an emerging cultural focus.
It is the first of a number of cities that eventually have been named Cartagena, most notably Cartagena de Indias (Cartagena of the Indies) in Colombia. (www.wikipedia.com)