Bellerby & Co Globemakers

Bellerby & Co Globemakers @globemakers

We handcraft & hand paint globes the traditional way! Daily look inside our private London studio via @jade0aura | | Read more 👇🏼
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A complete 36cm Mint Green Cassini & in progress 23cm Mini in Glacial Blue while #GlobeFacts is looking at the world changing landscape. . In the late 1990s, #LakeUrmia, in north-western Iran, was twice as large as Luxembourg & the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. . Since then it has shrunk substantially, & was sliced in half in 2008, with consequences uncertain to this day, by a 15-km causeway designed to shorten the travel time between the cities of Urmia and Tabriz. . Historically, the lake attracted migratory birds... its drying up, or desiccation, is undermining the local food web, especially by destroying one of the world’s largest natural habitats of the brine shrimp Artemia, a hardy species that can tolerate salinity levels of 340 grams per litre, more than eight times saltier than ocean water. . Effects on humans are perhaps even more complicated. The tourism sector has clearly lost out. While the lake once attracted visitors from near and far, some believing in its therapeutic properties. . Urmia has turned into a vast salt-white barren land with beached boats serving as a striking image of what the future may hold. . Desiccation will increase the frequency of salt storms that sweep across the exposed lakebed, diminishing the productivity of surrounding agricultural lands and encouraging farmers to move away. : Poor air, land, and water quality all have serious health effects including respiratory and eye diseases. . Currently, the lake is named after the provincial capital city of Urmia, originally an Assyrian name meaning puddle of water. However, in the early 1930s, it was called Lake Rezaiyeh after Reza Shah Pahlavi. . Its Old Persian name was Chichast, meaning "glittering", a reference to the glittering mineral particles suspended in the water of the lake and found along its shores. In medieval times it came to be known as Lake Kabuda (Kabodan), from the word for "azure" in Persian, or 'կապույտ' (kapuyt) in Armenian. . #IranFacts via The Guardian & Wikipedia.
My favourite photos will always be the last days of painting the 127cm Churchill globes. . Finishing up #AzerbaijanFacts. . Azerbaijan’s capital is often likened to Dubai for its outlandish architecture and appetite for gold. Architectural highlights include the curvaceous Heydar Aliyev Center designed by Zaha Hadid; the mirror-like SOCAR Tower; and the Flame Tower skyscrapers, which represent Azerbaijan’s oil and gas reserves. . Baku is also home to Little Venice, a man-made waterway that flows between shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. It has a number of islands, connected by bridges and walkways – but the best way to get around is by gondola. . A little Russian goes a long way. . Azerbaijanis speak Azeri, but Russian is the second language. English isn’t widely spoken, so bring a phrasebook. . Bread is sacred. When bread goes stale, Azerbaijani cooks don’t just chuck it in the bin: they hang it up in bags, separate from the rest of the rubbish, to signify their respect. If you drop bread on the floor, it’s custom to kiss it, as an apology. . A gold, shimmering smile is a common sight, especially among Azerbaijan’s older generations. For some, it’s a snazzy way to replace rotten teeth. For others, it’s akin to a savings account. . It’s thought that washing newborns in salt water will make them strong, truthful and bold. Children’s fingernails and hair are only cut after their first birthday. . #AzerbaijanFacts via The Telegraph.
If you find yourself in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, you might want to limber up for an arm wrestling match: the city is home to the Armwrestling Federation, who host the country’s professional league. Be warned: this is serious business in Baku’s gyms and bars. . Eggy smell? Blame the volcanoes. . Azerbaijan has more mud volcanoes than any other country on earth – more than 400. When its volcanoes erupt, the flames shoot up to a kilometre in the air, and when dormant they bubble and pop with noxious gases. Read more re this 3 posts back! . Azerbaijan’s Carpet Museum opened in 2014, on Baku’s seafront, in a building that’s shaped like a giant rolled-up rug. Inside, you can browse carpets of all ages, from all over the country – a spectacle only trumped by carpet weaving demonstrations. . Its national sport is played to music. . Chovkan is a bit like polo: it’s played with a curved wooden stick, with players mounted on horses. But that’s where the similarity ends. The game is accompanied by music, and all of the players wear national costume: embroidered tunics, caps, and pantaloons. . All the cool kids can crochet. . Girls are taught to crochet from a young age, in preparation for traditional Seven Beauties tournaments: girls must crochet stockings against the clock, and whoever knits the best pair is declared the winner. . #GlobeFacts #AzerbaijanFacts via The Telegraph. . Globe : 80cm starting anew via #JonTheGlobemakerFanclub
Fire Mountain ( #YanarDag) does exactly what it says on the tin: it blazes continuously, with a natural flame that feeds off the huge underground gas deposits. . #GlobeFacts Azerbaijan continues. . The mountain, not far from Baku, has entranced travellers and conquerors for centuries: in the 13th century, explorer Marco Polo wrote of the mysterious fires that burned all over on the peninsula. . Natural gas is a big earner for Azerbaijan: in 2013, it produced 29 billion cubic metres of the fuel. . Although it makes most money from oil and gas, Azerbaijan also exploits grains, grapes, cotton and livestock. . Azerbaijan’s currency – known as Manat – looks a lot like Euro banknotes, with similar sizes, colours and fonts. But each note is themed with different aspects of national identity: on 5 Manat notes you’ll find an excerpt from the national anthem, while 20 Manat bills are decorated with a sword, shield and helmet to signify power. . Azerbaijan’s currency – known as Manat – looks a lot like Euro banknotes, with similar sizes, colours and fonts. But each note is themed with different aspects of national identity: on 5 Manat notes you’ll find an excerpt from the national anthem, while 20 Manat bills are decorated with a sword, shield and helmet to signify power. . #AzerbaijanFacts via Telegraph. Globe : 50cm Britannia in Mint Green.
We are still in Azerbaijan with our #GlobeFacts. Locals tell me what's missing or different from what you know! . Kutabi – filled pancakes – are practically Azerbaijan’s national dish. They’re stuffed with pumpkin, veggies, meat or just a sprinkling of herbs, then flipped and toasted on a griddle. Leave your Nutella at home: Azerbaijan’s pancakes are strictly savoury. . No social occasion is complete without tea, served with myriad trimmings. It’s often sweetened with jam – and flavoured with thyme, lemon, mint or rosewater. . When families are matchmaking, the tea tray gives a good indication of how arrangements are progressing. If it’s served without sugar, more negotiating needs to be done; if it’s sweet, a wedding is definitely on the cards. . The karabakh horse – renowned for its effortless speed, intelligence and endurance – is the national animal of Azerbaijan. They are endemic to the country, and one of the oldest breeds in the world. Horsemeat was once widely eaten in Azerbaijan, but now it has fallen out of favour; you’ll find lamb and beef on the menu instead. . They enjoys proverbs. Notable examples include “Cheap meat never makes a good soup”, “Politeness is not sold in the bazaar”, and “I tried to draw the eyebrow, but I ended up poking the eye”. Quite. . It has a city built on stilts. The settlement of #NeftDaşları started life as an oil rig and a couple of elevated walkways in the Caspian Sea: today, it’s an entire stilted city. It was built in 1949, and communities have cropped up around bakeries, shops, cultural areas, hostels and hotels. . #azerbaijanfacts via the Telegraph. . Globe : 23cm Mini Desk Globe in Glacial Blue.
Continuing on with #GlobeFacts Azerbaijan. . Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. . In western Azerbaijan, you can cross the border into Nagorno-Karabakh, a self-declared autonomous region. However, Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan. It’s famed for its epic mountain ranges and the mulberry groves and vineyards that flourish in its valleys. . There are #petroglyphs in Gobustan National Park dating back to the 10th millennium BC indicating a thriving culture. They are a #UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value". . Apart from petroglyphs, there is also a "musical gemstone" known as #GavalDash. It makes a tambourine-like sound when it is hit in different points. . The Gaval Dash have been formed due the combination of unique climate, oil and gas which can be found in the region of Azerbaijan. . The Gaval Dash can only be found in Gobustan, Azerbaijan. . #AzerbaijanFacts via Wikipedia & Telegraph. . Globe : 80cm in Champagne // #JonTheGlobemakerFanclub
Everyone knows volcanoes, but have you ever seen a volcano which instead of hot lava spits out cold gooey mud? These can be found near Gobustan (Qobustan), a settlement situated 64km southwest of Baku, Azerbaijan. . They vary in size and shape but the majority of them look like giant (40-200 cm) gray molehills, whose surface has been cracked from the heat & which occasionally make oozing, bubbling or squeaking noises. . They erupt with thick mud, which is pleasantly cold and makes a nice counterbalance to the oppressive heat of the desert. . This geological phenomenon is strictly linked to the presence of the oil underground and it’s estimated that nearly half of the world’s mud volcanoes are located in #Gobustan. . Even though it’s a unique natural phenomenon, you won’t find any tourists in the vicinity of the volcanoes. . Azerbaijan, with its very limited and undeveloped tourist infrastructure, is therefore difficult to travel but is still free of all the negative aspects of institutionalised tourism. You can just spend a day in a desert, put your hands and feet in this cool soothing mud and listen to these lively gurgling anthills. . In 2001, one mud volcano 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started ejecting flames 15 meters high. . On the average, every twenty years or so, a mud volcano may explode with great force in Gobustan, shooting flames hundreds of metres into the sky, and depositing tonnes of mud on the surrounding area. . Gobustan mud volcanoes were included as one of 50 natural wonders by CNN Travel. . If you decide to visit the mud volcanoes, you can combine it with the nearby #GobustanNationalPark which contains prehistoric rock carvings dating back to 5000 – 40,000 years and it’s been listed as a #UNESCO World Heritage Site. . Of the beaten path tourist advice via hitchhikershandbook.com & Wikipedia. #AzerbaijanFacts #GlobeFacts. . Globe : 80cm in bespoke colours- aquamarine ocean with Cassini colouring in green & brown. Photo one week on from yesterday's post.
Switching directions we head to the Gulf of Finland for today's #GlobeFacts. . Approximately 285 mi (460 km) long, the Gulf of Finland is a somewhat shallow arm of the Baltic Sea. It's positioned in northern Europe & bordered by Estonia, Finland & Russia. . Though frozen from December - March, the gulf remains an important corridor for Estonian, Finish & Russian shipping. . The water is less salty in the eastern side of the Gulf. This is because the Neva River flows into the Gulf in the east. . Starting from 1700, 19 artificial islands with fortresses were built in the gulf by Russia. Their purpose was defense from attacks from water and their construction was urged by the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. . The bottom of the gulf is one of the world's largest ship cemeteries. . Because of the low salinity & cold waters, & no shipworms, the ships are relatively well preserved. . Since the 6th century, major waterways were running through the gulf, from the 8th - 10th century about 3,000 tonnes of silver was transported there. . In the fall of 1743, 17 Russian warships returning from Finland sank in just 7 hours, & in the summer of 1747. A record was set in 1721 when during the evacuation of Russian troops from Finland, more than 100 vessels were lost within 3 months, including 64 in a single night. . By the end of 1996, about 5,000 submerged objects were identified in the Russian part of the gulf, including 2,500 ships, 1,500 airplanes, & small items such as boats, tanks, tractors, cars, cannons, & even naval mines, aerial bombs, torpedoes, and other ammunition. The ships belonged to Russia (25%), Germany (19%), United Kingdom (17%), Sweden (15%), Netherlands (8%), and Finland (7%). . 38,932 mines were laid in the gulf during World War I, the Russian Civil War, and the Soviet-Finnish War, with an estimated total number of 60,000; 85,000 more during World War II, and only a fraction of all those were eliminated after the wars. . #RussiaFacts via Wikipedia. Globe : 80cm bespoke Aquamarine Cassini colouring.
Yesterday in the studio.. Leo working on an Ochre 36cm globe.. beside a Glacial Blue & in front a 50cm Reed Green still in progress (lots of shading to go!) . Moving on to #GlobeFacts Estonia. . Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. Including more than 1,500 islands, its diverse terrain spans rocky beaches, old-growth forest and many lakes. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it's dotted with castles, churches and hilltop fortresses. The capital, Tallinn, is known for its preserved Old Town, museums and the 314m-high Tallinn TV Tower, which has an observation deck. . The country has distinctly more women than men. For every 100 females in Estonia, there are 84 men – only the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific, with a population of around 50,000, has a smaller percentage of males. . Estonian women live 10 years longer, on average, which goes some way to explaining it. . Incidentally, the UAE is the country with the highest male-to-female ratio, a remarkable 2.19:1. . When it comes to winning Olympic medals, Estonia really punches above its weight. Not including last year’s Games in Rio, it has picked up a total of 25.5 medals per million residents. Only seven countries have a greater strike rate. . Estonia is also one of 51 countries that receive more tourists each year than its total population. . Estonians are also adept at the non-Olympic sport of wife carrying. Something fun I've spoken about before on here. Though it originated in Finland, Estonian couples won the Wife Carrying World Championships for 11 consecutive years between 1998 and 2008. Check out #WifeCarryingWorldChampionship & #eukonkanto. . Estonia is said to be the birth place of the first Christmas tree. . #EstoniaFacts via The Telegraph & continue tomorrow!
Finishing up on #GlobeFacts Kyrgyzstan. . Yurts still litter the steppes and just 36 per cent of the country’s resident live in an urban location. By comparison, 53 per cent of neighbouring Kazakhs reside in towns or cities, 74 per cent of Russians, and 83 per cent of Britons. . Just 1.25 per cent of the country’s GDP comes from tourism, a lower percentage than 174 other countries. . Kyrgyzstan’s railway network extends to just 417 kilometres (it must be all those mountains), making it one of the shortest in the world. . Many countries don't have any railways at all, however. They include Iceland, Greenland, Yemen, Oman, Bhutan, Libya and Papua New Guinea. . The marble-clad seven-storey presidential office in Bishkek is just as imposing as its US namesake. . Gold accounts for a remarkable 43 per cent of Kyrgyzstan’s exports – second highest is “dried legumes”, which makes up 3.5 per cent. The Kumtor Gold Mine in the Tian Shan mountains, which opened in 1997, sits on one of the largest gold deposits in the world. . The national instrument of Kyrgyzstan is a fretless three-stringed device. Virtuosos apparently play it in a range of positions, including over the shoulder, between the knees and upside down. . #KyrgyzstanFacts via The Telegraph. . Globe : 80cm in "Champagne" - for more details see link in profile.
Continuing on with #GlobeFacts Kyrgyzstan. . Osh, the country’s second largest city, is also one of the oldest in the region. Its vast and bustling market – still going strong – was a key trading point on the Silk Road, the overland route taken by caravans heading between Europe and Asia. . Temperatures can top 40C in summer, in the low-lying Fergana Valley, but in the mountains they can fall to -30C in winter. . But its most famous sons and daughters include the novelist Chingiz Aitmatov, the scientist and poet Kasym Tynystanov, and the ballerina Bubusara Beyshenalieva. . Including spectacular Ala Archa, in the Tian Shan mountains. It’s a popular spot for hiking, horse trekking and skiing. . Burana Tower, originally 45 metres tall but reduced to 25 metres by earthquakes, marks the site of the ancient city of Balasagun. . Kyrgyzstan’s fourth-largest city, also on Issyk Kul, is a real gem, housing the impressive Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral, a mosque, a zoo and a clutch of museums. The Jeti-Ögüz Rocks, an eye-catching rock formation, lie just to the west. Karakol is twinned with Asheville, North Carolina, often rated among the best US cities in which to live. . #KyrgyzstanFacts via The Telegraph. . Globe : 36cm Livingstone in bespoke colouring - for more info see link on our profile.
Continuing on with #GlobeFacts Kyrgyzstan. . The mountainous Tian Shan region covers 80 per cent of Kyrgyzstan and the country has even been described as the “Switzerland of Central Asia”. Its highest point is Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 m (24,406 ft). . Kyrgyzstan is one of 45 landlocked countries, but does have the consolation of Issyk-Kul, the world’s second largest high-altitude lake (behind Titicaca in South America). It is 113 miles long, 37 miles wide and reaches a depth of 668 metres (2,192 feet). The lake was a popular holiday resort during the Soviet era. . Kumyz, fermented mare’s milk, is drunk with great gusto in the steppes of Kyrgyzstan. Horse meat is also traditionally popular. . Ever seen a three pound coin or a three dollar bill? Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries to have used this denomination. . The Tien-Shan mountain range is one, the network of routes that made up the historic Silk Road is another, the third is Sulayman Mountain on the outskirts of Osh. It is "the most complete example of a sacred mountain anywhere in Central Asia,” according to Unesco, and has been worshipped for several millennia. Women who climb to the shrine at the top will, according to legend, give birth to healthy children. . #KyrgyzstanFacts via The Telegraph. . Globe : 80cm in Mint Green, for details click link on profile.
Visiting Kyrgyzstan just got a little easier this year. From September 1st, Britons can enjoy visa-free entry on trips of up to 90 days. . To celebrate, here are a few #GlobeFacts about a nation that's short on vowels but long on poetry. . The eponymous hero of the Epic of Manas, a poem of which the longest version extends to a truly epic 500,000 lines, is celebrated in many ways. There are statues of him, roads, a university, a planet (yep) and an airport named after him, and an opera about him. . The poem is reputed to be 1,000 years old, but most experts believe it actually originated in the 18th century. . Proper nouns aren’t allowed in Scrabble. But it they were, Kyrgyzstan would score 30 points. Of all the countries made up of just one word, only Mozambique could top it. . “Kyrgyz” is thought to be derived from the Turkic word for “forty” – a reference to the 40 clans of the great Manas. The country’s flag, a nod to this, features a 40-ray sun. . There are just 29.5 residents for each square kilometre of land – making Kyrgyzstan one of the world’s least crowded countries. . #KyrgyzstanFacts via The Telegraph. #JonTheGlobemakerFanclub. . Globe : 80cm in Glacial Blue. Link for more info on profile.
So much joy this little gremlin @princelittle_g brings. . George belongs to Kirsty who draws all the cute little bespoke illustrations you see on our globes. She hand draws & digitises them so that we can place within the cartography. When placed on land you have to move a few city names around to accommodate! . Once draw we mock everything up into a PDF so the customer can approve the sizing, placement & style of the personalisation. . We've had every request you can imagine.. from a donkey doing its business in Greece (fond memory of newlyweds).. to a leg of lamb roasting in tinfoil.. to a mans cat flying it's own plane wearing little goggles & a scarf. . Kirsty's favourite... the #MannekenPis in Brussels & Burt Reynolds sat on Bandit (Smokey & the Bandit). Favourite critique / re-draw.. when the customer said the turtle didn't look shifty enough.
Continuing on with #GlobeFacts Albania. . Zog I is not the name of earth’s 2120 extra-terrestrial conqueror but instead the name of Albania’s king from 1928 to 1939. . The dictatorial ruler was the subject of some 55 assassination attempts, including one in which Zog laid claim to the record of being the only modern leader to ever return fire at his would-be assassin. . Lord Byron was a fan. The eccentric romantic visited Albania in 1809 as part of his grand tour of the Mediterranean. . In a letter to his mother, he wrote that Albanians have the most “magnificent” dresses in the world and told of his horse-riding in the country. “Land of Albania. Let me bend mine eyes on thee, thou rugged nurse of savage men,” he wrote in “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” of the countrymen. You can follow in his footsteps, with Albania on horseback tours. . Though small, Albania boasts more than 3,250 species of plants, which accounts for 30 per cent of all flora in Europe. The best places to see the country’s colourful stock is its national parks, of which there are 15. . Llogara is best for vibrant flora and fauna, while Butrint, a Unesco World Heritage site, offers archaeological sites that date back to the Romans. . Albania has never won a medal at the Olympics. Its most popular events are weightlifting, shooting and wrestling. . Lazarat, a small village in southern Albania, was once considered “the cannabis capital of Europe” and home to a hefty amount of mafia activity, producing some 900 tonnes of marijuana a year. . In 2014, 800 police were deployed to the area to crackdown on the flagrant flouting of rules of not growing truck-loads of weed every day – authorities gained control of the village after a five-day shoot-out with heavily armed residents. The US State Department, however, says Albania remains a major source country for the drug. . The Albanian town of Berat, once a frontier town of the Byzantine Empire, boasts a Unesco-prescribed Old Town, and was rated as one of the most beautiful places in Europe, according to, bizarrely, a poll by the Japanese tourist board. . #AlbaniaFacts via Telegraph. . Globe : 127cm Churchill in Taupe. It takes two people to lay each gore.
Continuing on with #GlobeFacts Albania. . In the sense that no man is an island, Albania was an island. A communist state alone in a sea of communism. . Behind the Iron Curtain, Albania was neither part of the Soviet Union – or one of its satellite states – nor Tito-led Yugoslavia, so was in a sense a stand-alone communist state in the second half of the 20th century. . The People’s Republic of Albania became in 1976 the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania. The country even fell out with most of the world’s communist powers. Leader (and dictator) Enver Hoxha broke ties with the USSR, withdrew from the Warsaw Pact and ceased relations with the People’s Republic of China. He was also continually hostile to neighbouring Yugoslavia. . According to a 2015 World Risk Report compiled by the UN, Albania is one of the countries in Europe most at-risk from natural disasters. Alone in such a category – with the exception of neighbouring Serbia and Netherlands –Albania is deemed to be at risk from flooding. . Keen to entice more tourists to the country, Albania has set about transforming Sazan Island, a Cold War-era military island, complete with a bunker designed to withstand a nuclear attack, into a must-see attraction. . The base is still technically operational, with two sailors remaining on the two-square-mile isle to offer shelter to navies patrolling Albanian waters. . Plans are afoot to make the island more hospitable for visitors – however, a proposed Las Vegas-style casino has already been rejected. . So we've had bunker mentality and bunker islands, but this is the real bunker cherry on the bunker cake. Albania is littered with bunkers. There are on average 5.7 for every square kilometre and more than 750,000 across the country. Built under the leadership of communist dictator Enver Hoxha, who was fearful of attack by his enemies (just about everyone), the majority of the bunkers were never used and were mostly abandoned after the fall of communism, though a number are today being put to good use as homes, cafes or museums. . #AlbaniaFacts continue tomorrow via The Telegraph. . Globe : 23cm Prussian Blue with added illustrations.
By special request, we look at Albania for this weeks #GlobeFacts.. the small country that boasts both an Ionian and Adriatic coastline. . First and foremost, Albanians do not call home Albania, instead the name for the nation in its mother tongue is Shqipëri. . The Albanian diaspora is vast, stretching from its neighbours such as Greece and Turkey to further afield nations such as the US and Canada – so much so that it is believed that the number of Albanians living outside Albania is greater than the country’s population of nearly 3 million. Hundreds of thousands emigrated following the collapse of the communist regime in 1991 and ensuing economic crisis. . Albanian buses (called furgons) have no timetable, they depart when they are good and ready – or full. . Mother Teresa, though born in the then-Ottoman Empire and now-capital of Macedonia, Skopje, was Albanian. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work helping the poor in Calcutta, India. . Albanians nod when they mean “no” and shake their head when they mean “yes”. Be careful answering questions with your head. . #AlbaniaFacts continue tomorrow | via Telegraph. . Globe : 80cm in Prussian Blue, for details see website linked on page.
Continuing on from Friday’s #GlobeFacts Moldova. The least visited country in Europe. . In a bid to gain access to the Black Sea, Moldova did in fact make a territorial exchange with Ukraine in 2005, giving the country access to a 600m stretch of the River Danube, which flows into the Black Sea. . The national animal is a big cow. Or an auroch, to be precise. These beefy bovines are now extinct, but have been immortalised on Moldova's flag, which features the head of an auroch mounted on a shield (probably why they’re extinct, if they kept mounting them on shields). Zimbru Stadium, the country's main football stadium, takes its name from the Romanian word for bison. . Travel is cheap! A one-way ticket on Chișinău's tramway costs 2MDL – a mere 7 pence. A monthly pass will set you back £7 – that's for a whole 30 days of unlimited travel. Take note, TFL. . The national dish is porridge. Ubiquitous on Moldovan dinner tables, Mămăligă is a porridge made out of yellow maize flour and often considered the country’s national dish. It’s traditionally served as an accompaniment to stews and meat dishes, and is commonly garnished with cottage cheese, sour cream or pork rind. . Wine producers open up their homes and vineyards to the masses on October 3-4 for National Wine Day, in a country-wide celebration of local hooch. Wine tastings are cheap, and there's even a free bus to shuttle you between wineries. . When you're entering someone's home, it's considered impolite to leave your shoes on. Leave them at the door. The house rule applies in most formerly Soviet countries. Guests are almost always provided with slippers. . Moldova celebrates Christmas from December 24 to 26, unlike its Russian-Orthodox neighbours (their main event is in January). Traditional preparations start in November, with the baking of cakes and the slaughtering of pigs, and culminate in three days of feasting, parties and gift-giving. The Russian Father Frost fairytale was banned after Moldova gained independence: these days, children's presents are delivered by Mos Craciun – who looks remarkably like our Santa Claus. . #GlobeFacts #MoldovaFacts via The Telegraph. Globes : www.bellerbyandco.com
And here we are at Moldova, the least visited country in all of Europe. . So why does it get so few visitors? Well suggestions are... 1) it’s sandwiched between the Ukraine and Romania so it is considered hard to get to; 2) it doesn’t have any iconic tourist attractions, and 3) part of the country, Transnistria, is a de-facto breakaway republic that is a throwback to the glory days of the USSR. . Only 121,000 foreigners are reported to have entered the country in 2016. On a global scale only Bangladesh and Guinea are less touristy destinations (taking into account number of visitors per resident). . The venerable folk at Guinness World Records recognise the Mileștii Mici wine cellar in Moldova is the world’s largest with nearly two million bottles in its darkened vaults. . Traditionally Moldova’s biggest export market was Russia, which consumed up to 90 per cent of its wine. However, a diplomatic dispute in 2006 resulted in a Russian ban on Moldovan & Georgian produce, which has been devastating for its economy. Nevertheless, it remains the 20th largest wine-producing nation on Earth (as of 2014). . Moldova’s most important (and, arguably, most beautiful) historical site, Orheiul Vechi is a crumbling open-air monastic complex that dates back more than 2,000 years. The rambling ruins feature ancient fortifications, baths and monasteries, which you’ll have largely to yourself. . Moldovans speak either Romanian, which is the native language, Russian or Gagauz. Some speak all three. . Moldova’s second language, Gagauz, is in danger of dying out. Spoken in the Autonomous Region of Gagauz, the Turkic language is classed as critically endangered by Unesco. . Despite being surrounded by poverty, rich residents in the town of Soroca have taken to flaunting their wealth by building flamboyant homes inspired by landmarks such as St Peter’s Basilica & the Bolshoi theatre. Consequently, the town, dubbed Gypsy Hill, has become something of an tourist attraction, with people coming to admire the madcap architecture. . #GlobeFacts #MoldovaFacts via The Telegraph. . Globe : 23cm Mini Desk Globe in "Gagarin". For more info click link on our profile page.
Wait wait, one more on Liechtenstein. . The country is not only landlocked.. but double-landlocked. . Both of the countries that border Liechtenstein—Austria to the north and east and Switzerland to the south and west—are themselves landlocked. The only other country in this category is Uzbekistan. . In the years after World War II, Czechoslovakia—which later split into two separate nations—confiscated property belonging to Liechtenstein’s royal family, considering it the possession of the recently defeated Germany. The land seized—10 times the size of Liechtenstein’s current boundaries—mostly included forest and agricultural land in Moravia, as well as a handful of family palaces and their accompanying land parcels. . Although the Czech Republic later offered to return just the palaces (but not the land itself, interestingly), Liechtenstein rejected the deal, choosing instead to stay mad and refuse to recognize either the Czech Republic or Slovakia as independent nations. It wasn’t until a 2009 announcement from Prince Hans-Adam II stating that no further legal action would be sought by Liechtenstein over the expropriated assets that the three (formerly two) countries resumed diplomatic relations. . In a pamphlet directed toward new immigrants, mowing lawns or holding “noisy festivities” during the country’s official lunch break, which runs from noon to 1:30 p.m, are strongly advised against. . Liechtenstein was originally purchased by the princes of Liechtenstein for its political value. The princes bought what’s now known as Liechtenstein because it was the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, and owning it meant that they could obtain a seat and a vote in the Imperial Diet in Vienna, thereby increasing their power. . This plan worked great, but none of the princes bothered traveling there until a century after the place was declared a principality in 1806. The next princely visit wasn’t for decades more. The first prince of Liechtenstein to reside in Liechtenstein proper was Franz Josef II, the father of the current prince, who moved there in 1938. . #GlobeFacts #LiechtensteinFacts via MentalFloss. . Globe : 80cm in Mint Green